Pregnancy

Having A Toddler Who Can’t Feel Pain Isn’t As Idyllic As It Sounds

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painParenting a kid who can graze a coffee table or take a tumble on the playground without bursting into tears may engender some parental envy — the kind in which comments are made about “what an easy baby” you have. But on the extreme end, having a child who can experience no pain isn’t a circumstance any parent should be envious of.

Meet Ashlyn Blocker, a healthy 12-year-old girl who spent most of her early years in bandages not because she necessarily has an affinity for climbing trees, but because she has a genetic disorder. The little girl was diagnosed with  congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA), which impacts the way pain is felt in the nervous system. As ABC news reports, she may have never cried when she was hungry or had a diaper rash, but without pain as an indicator, her parents had no way of detecting more serious conditions. Like when doctors discovered that the 8-month-old had a large corneal abrasion across her eye.

As she becomes older, her parents, John and Tara Blocker, are fearful of what other warning signs their daughter may miss:

“It was scary because, you know, there weren’t very many good outcomes that were involved with this condition,” said Ashlyn’s mother, Tara Blocker. “I mean, you know, people passing away from appendicitis because they didn’t have the warning signs – and bone infections.”

The tween isn’t being slowed down by her condition in the least, founding a camp called Painless But Hopeful for children with her same condition. Doctors are still reportedly learning about the young lady’s condition and have, as of a few years ago, isolated the gene that affects the strength of her pain signals. Treatment may be on the horizon, but Mr. and Mrs. Blocker are probably part of a slim group of parents praying that their child can feel even a little pin prick of pain.

(photo: AR Images/ Shutterstock)