When one mom gave birth to her new baby, she couldn’t wait to see what she looked like. When the mother’s little girl arrived, however, she wasn’t the only one shocked by the tiny tot’s unique looks. In fact, even her nurses couldn’t hide their surprise.
In early 2016 Jessica Smith lived in Amory, Mississippi, with her two children, and she was just about to welcome a daughter. The father of Smith’s third child was her partner Kyle Clayton Thomas, a soldier with the Mississippi Army National Guard who worked out of Senatobia, MS.
Understandably, Thomas must have been looking forward to the birth of his first child. But, tragically, Thomas would never get to see his daughter grow up, as in May 2016 the new father was involved in an accident during a training exercise in California.
During the practice operation, Thomas was severely injured when he was involved in a tank rollover. And sadly, he later died at the scene. At the time, the soldier was only 24 and had a lifetime with his daughter ahead of him.
Thankfully, though, Thomas did get to create a few precious memories with his baby before he passed. Devina Smith was born on May 1, 2017, just weeks before her daddy’s death, and luckily, he was around to meet her.
But while all little girls are the apple of their daddy’s eye, Thomas wasn’t the only one who fell in love with his baby at first sight. That’s because when Devina was born, she was so unique-looking that nurses could hardly believe their eyes.
You see, when Devina arrived, she was sporting a shock of snowy-white hair. The baby’s locks were so bright, in fact, that even her family were surprised. “I never expected her to have hair like that,” her mom Smith admitted to the Daily Mail in May 2017.
“I didn’t know until she was born,” Smith added. “The doctor told me she had a lot of hair during delivery. But it was a shock when I saw her for the first time. She had so much hair, it was crazy.”
And Smith soon discovered that her daughter’s amazing coloring was caused by a genetic condition known as partial albinism. Caused by a lack of pigment in the skin, eye and hair, the condition affects five individuals in every 100,000 throughout Europe and the United States.
In fact, people with albinism cannot produce melanin – a pigment that colors the hair, skin and eyes and also absorbs UV rays. As a result, those with the condition often have pale skin and white hair.
Despite the condition, though, Devina was a perfectly healthy and happy little girl. But due to a lack of pigment in the eye, many people with albinism will experience eyesight problems. As a result, then, Devina will need regular eye tests throughout her life.
Potential health complications aside, though, Smith couldn’t have been prouder of Devina’s coloring. In fact, the happy mom even decided to share pictures of her daughter on social media – and it didn’t take long for them to go viral.
“When we posted her photos online, they were being viewed thousands of times,” Smith revealed. “I couldn’t believe how much attention the photos was getting. People thought it had been Photoshopped.”
Yes, to Smith, Devina’s condition just made her even more exceptional. “I hadn’t seen a baby like that before others were blond, but not white,” the proud mom gushed. “I think it makes her extra special.”
In fact, due to her icy locks, little Devina found herself the center of attention wherever she went. “She’s so tiny, we haven’t taken her out much. But, when we took her for a hospital visit, a little girl said she looked like a baby doll,” Smith revealed.
Some people have even compared the baby to the Game of Thrones character Daenerys Targaryen. Fans of the show will know Daenerys – played by Emilia Clarke – for her distinctive pale blonde mane.
Despite all the interest in Devina, however, the fact remained that she was still a little girl without a father. So as a result, her family decided to set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for her future.
“Any donations received will go to Devina in order to ensure that all her needs are met,” read the page’s description. “Also, we would like to take this chance to say how much we all appreciate the kindness that has been given to the family during this time. Thank you.”
And for Thomas’ family, having Devina’s no doubt felt like having a little bit of him still with them. “Kyle had a close-knit family,” they wrote in his online obituary at Legacy.com. “He loved spending time with his family and he cherished the relationships he had with them.”
“When his daughter, Devina Jayde Smith was born, an incredible new love and bond was formed,” the moving tribute continued. “He was so proud of his daughter.” So, with that in mind, no matter what Devina goes on to do, she will no doubt have her dad watching over.