Now Reading
Meet Mum Whose Toddler Is Twice Her Size

Meet Mum Whose Toddler Is Twice Her Size

Mum Marie Andrews whose toddler son, Mark is twice her size suffers from a severe form of brittle bone disease and has to be careful around him as he can break her bones if accidentally falls on her.

The Mirror reports:

The 32-year-old said: “Mark was just three months old when he kicked out while I was changing his nappy and fractured my rib now when I am sat on the floor playing with him, I look up and he seems like a giant, but whatever fun we are having, I never forget if he accidentally fell on top of me now I could be seriously injured.

I always ensure I have my back against a wall to support me when I am cuddling him. I then can’t hug him too tightly or I could easily break another bone. And I place a cushion on my lap when he sits on me.”

marie 2

Marie, who has endured over 200 fractures is unable to walk or even stand. Recently she just rolled over in bed and broke her knee. Yet despite the painful breaks and risks to her own health, Marie – who is married to scientist Dan, 34, has never been happier.

marie 3

She said: “Being a mum is a dream come true. Mark is the miracle baby I never thought I would have. Simply watching him grow is absolutely wonderful. Being parents has brought both Dan and I so much joy and although we often both fall into bed at night shattered we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

In fact the couple has taken so much to parenthood they are now planning to have a second child via surrogacy. It was thanks to a surrogate they managed to have Mark, who was born in November 2013 a healthy 8Ib.

marie 4

Marie recalls: “Dan and I were thrilled when another mum offered to have Mark for us. Carrying a baby myself could have killed me. It was such a relief when she said my disability didn’t worry her. We are so grateful to her.”

Marie was just a few days old when doctors gave her mum Ann the devastating news she had brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta. The condition, which means her body doesn’t produce enough collagen the ‘cement,’ which provides bones with strength and flexibility – means she can break an arm just reaching for a cuppa. As an added complication Marie also had a twisted spine, respiratory and heart problems.

marie 5

She said: “Mum had already lost my older brother Mark to the same condition and doctors also didn’t expect me to survive either.” Miraculously she did survive. By the time Marie was eight she’d had so many fractures she was confined to a wheelchair. However she went to mainstream school eventually leaving to work as a school receptionist.

marie 6

It was through work when in 2002 she met Dan who had come to school to talk about planets to pupils for a science lesson.

Dan said: “Marie had a great sense of humour and we just clicked. After a while I didn’t notice her disability.”

In 2010 the couple moved into their three-bed bungalow in Milton Keynes Bucks. Marie said: “We travelled the world. But what we wanted most was kids.”

However, due to the severity of Marie’s condition, social services refused to consider them for adoption and they turned to surrogacy.

marie 7

In June 2013 the pair finally wed announcing at the reception they were expecting a baby via a surrogate.

Marie said: “It was a wonderful home birth and I was the first person to hold Mark. From the beginning I’ve always had a personal assistant to help me care for Mark at first we had one but now I have three who come in on different days Monday to Friday while Dan’s at work.

“Obviously there are things I physically can’t do. When Mark was a baby someone had to lift him and bring him to me. Now an assistant needs to change his nappy, lift him into his highchair and strap him into a car seat. It is agonising for me too that I can’t run after him or quickly pick him up if he’s fallen over.

“But as he grows older he I can call him to come to me. And there is a lot I can do. I always feed him myself, read to him and spend hours playing with him. I can follow him around in my wheelchair and I can drive myself. At night I’m the one who gives him his bath, i sit in the bath with him to wash his hair and if he’s unwell, I’m the one he wants most to comfort him.”

marie 8

She has become used to strangers mistaking her for Mark’s big sister.

See Also

“When we’re out I will often hold Mark’s hand as he walks and I am in the wheelchair next to him, but people still mistake the assistant for his mum. Sometimes strangers think I am a child and Mark is my little brother and they often think Dan is my carer and not my husband. It doesn’t annoy me but I always make it clear I am Mark’s mum.”

Meanwhile despite his young age Mark is already adapting to his mum’s disability.

Marie said: “I used to worry about running over his feet in my wheelchair but he’s learnt to jump out of the way and he even seems to realise how fragile I am. Rather than hugging me tightly, he’s very gentle and has even begun kissing me on top of my head. And the other day he even tried to lift me into my wheelchair.”

marie 9

Marie, who writes a blog for disability charity Scope, now hopes to give Mark a little brother or sister and is currently on a list of hopeful parents searching for a surrogate to help.

“Mark has made us a real family,” she says, “but we don’t want him to be an only child. While we are so lucky to have him and it feels greedy to want another child, it is our greatest wish to complete us with one more baby.”








View Comments (22)

Copyright © 2021 Motherhood In-Style Magazine. All Rights Reserved.