The heartbreaking and beautiful story of Harper Ly Foy has captured the attention of people around the world. Through the powerful tool of social media, this story has impacted audiences in a moving and emotional way.
Harper Ly Foy was born with a rare skin condition called harlequin ichthyosis (HI) that causes her skin to be extremely dry and constantly flake. HI can be a fatal condition when an infant is born with it and, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital, some infants only live a few days after birth. However, Harper surpassed these odds and is now a vibrant 4-year-old.
The doctors didn’t know she would be born with this rare condition. Her father recalls the moment he was told to take his camera out in order to snap the first picture of her. As soon as she was born, however, the room became silent and medical professionals hurried to rush Harper to the neonatal intensive care unit.
She was transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where a team of specialists came up with “a one-of-a-kind treatment plan for Harper.” Her mother, Angie Foy, credits the team there with saving her daughter’s life. “Without Seattle Children’s, Harper wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “We are forever grateful.”
Today, Harper follows a strict skincare regimen that includes up to three baths a day and the application of Aquaphor in order to protect her sensitive skin. Her mother adds that caring for her skin is “a full-time job…It’s not always easy, but it’s our normal.” But Harper and her family haven’t let this hold them back. They’ve used her condition in order to inspire others and teach what beauty really looks like.
At 4-years-old, Harper just signed a contract with a modeling agency and she was recently featured in a video on the news of her singing in the car.
Her family hopes that her modeling will increase Harper’s confidence and raise awareness for HI. Her team at Seattle Children’s even created a special photoshoot for her in order to show her how special she is. The doctors commented on how they are inspired by her example. Dr. Raymond Tse, one of Harper’s plastic surgeons when she was a newborn, said, “As human beings, we tend to focus on our differences…it’s important for all of us to see who someone really is. From there, the beauty in our diversity can make our world a better place.’”
Harper has certainly made the world a better place by sharing her story. Her mother put it best when she said:
“She’s here to teach all of us something.”
She certainly is.