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What is FATCO Syndrome, the condition Sister Wives granddaughter Evangalynn Brush has?

Maddie, Axel, and Evie Brush share a peaceful family moment
Maddie, Axel, and Evie Brush share a peaceful family moment. Pic Credit: @Madison_rose11/Instagram

The Brown family of Sister Wives fame proudly welcomed two grandchildren in the past three years.

The fourth Brown child, Janelle and Kody’s oldest daughter, Madison, married Caleb Brush in 2016. One year later, the couple welcomed their first child, Axel James.

As the first grandchild, Axel was welcomed with lots of love by his grandparents and many aunts and uncles. The family was thrilled when Maddie announced in 2018 that she was pregnant again, this time with a girl.

Evangalynn Kodi, named her for grandfather, was born last August.

A surprise during pregnancy

Maddie and Caleb made the announcement that Evangalynn, whom they call Evie, was born.

On October 23, Maddie announced that Evie, while healthy, had limb differences. According to Maddie, she and Caleb found out that Evie was developing abnormally during Maddie’s 26-week checkup.

The ultrasound, normally a short procedure, took two hours. At the end of the appointment, the doctor explained that they couldn’t find ten fingers and diagnosed Evie with oligodactyly, which means having fewer than 10 fingers.

However, when Evie was born, it became clear that oligodactyly wasn’t her only problem. She was missing three fingers, one toe, and a fibula.

She also had abnormalities in her tibia, forearm, and other fingers. The many limb differences resulted in a diagnosis of FATCO syndrome.

FATCO stands for fibular aplasia, tibial campomelia, and oligosyndactyly. While limb malformations affect as many as one in 2,000 newborns, FATCO isn’t among the more common types.

It’s actually extremely rare — fewer than 10 recorded cases like Evie’s exist in the world — and doctors don’t know what causes it.

Although FATCO syndrome is very rare and causes limb issues, the prognosis for Evie’s health is thankfully good.

The mental development of children affected by FATCO is normal, and they aren’t known to be more prone to other health issues.

The announcement was a tough decision

When Maddie revealed the diagnosis in October, she mentioned that she and Caleb discussed extensively whether that would be a good idea.

“This is one of the hardest things that Caleb and I have gone through,” she said of Evie’s diagnosis, “The decision to share [was] almost as difficult, but after a lot of consideration, we realized that it’s the best thing for our daughter and there is a chance it may help other parents who may also be struggling.”

Because of her family’s choice to live in the public eye, Maddie knew that Evie might not be accepted by everyone.

“We were hesitant to share Evie’s condition publicly for fear that our infant daughter would become the target of mean jokes and cyberbullying.” she explained, “That said, we felt not being open would be even worse and make Evie feel ashamed for something that makes her all the more special in our eyes…we want Evie to always feel pride in who she is, and all that God gave her!”

Luckily, fans have rallied around Evie and sent their love to the family.

“She is absolutely perfect and beautiful, just the way she is,” said one Instagram user.

There’s no doubt the Brush-Brown family feels the same way.

Sister Wives airs on Sundays at 10/9c on TLC.


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