'Cyclops baby' born in Negros

by MARTY GO, ABS-CBN Bacolod

Posted at Mar 05 2009 01:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2009 10:36 PM

A woman in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental gave birth Saturday to a baby with only one eye on her forehead.

Bona Franco and her husband Nestor Estaniel were shocked to discover that their second child, Angela, was born with a rare congenital defect. Dubbed 'cyclops baby', Angela has a single eye on her forehead, with no nose, and an underdeveloped skullcap.

The couple's eldest son, one-year-old Nielben, was born a year ago, healthy and with no abnormalities on his body.

The Francos were surprised to see Angela's condition after her delivery, since her pregnancy reportedly went smoothly and she said she was not taking any drugs or substances that could harm the infant in her womb.

"They say that she (Angela) will not live long but what can I do? Even if it's painful to us, we have no choice but to accept this sad reality," said Franco.

Evelyn Gonzales, the barangay midwife who assisted in the mother's delivery of the baby, was also shocked when she saw that the baby had only one eye on her forehead.

"I have been a midwife for 21 years now but this is the first time that I have seen such thing. My heart goes out to the parents of this poor child," said Gonzales.

The Sipalay City Health Officer recommended that Angela be brought to the hospital so that she could be checked by a specialist.

Estaniel, the baby's father and bus driver, is also asking for financial help to pay for his daughter's hospitalization fees and medicines.

The child's condition, Cyclopia, is caused by holoprosencephaly, which is a failure of an embryo's forebrain to subdivide the orbits of the eyes into two cavities during its development in the womb, according to a neurology website.