Baby's Rare Blood Disease Leads to Horrible Family Secret

When a baby at a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, a rare type of blood "cancer,"  doctors wondered if there might be something else going on too. The blood disease is a rare genetic disorder that can either be acquired or inherited, and in some rare cases it's a result of incest.


There must have been other tip offs as well, because in most cases, the devastating disease has nothing to do with incest. As Dr. Michael Jordon, hematology and oncology pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, told The Stir, "Recessive genetic disorders [like HLH but not excluded to HLH] may be more common when parents when related, but the vast majority of parents in the U.S. who have children with HLH aren't related." However, that small possibility may have been enough to make doctors contact police in this case.
When police questioned the mom, she reportedly admitted that a relative had impregnated her when she was under 17. That relative, Steven DeMaranville, 36, has been arrested.

Reportedly, the teen mother has an IQ of 67 and didn't "comprehend the severity of the situation," according to police. They also say that during an interview, DeMaranville admitted having sex with the mom of the 2-month-old baby. It's unclear how the two are related.

While we've read some stories about consenting adult relatives who have decided to become sexually intimate, some of them having children together, we generally don't hear too much about the damage this can inflict on kids -- not only psychologically, but physically.

There is a reason that virtually all societies have made inbreeding taboo, and why there is a natural biological inclination away from desiring intimate relations with a member of the opposite sex who you've grown up with. That is because it's genetically advantageous to mix up the lineage. But, believe it or not, incest with someone over 18 isn't illegal in all states.

In the case of Aswad Ayinde, who was convicted of raping and impregnating three of his daughters, one of his daughter's children reportedly died at age 9 due to a genetic disorder, and another child who was birthed by his daughter reportedly has a metabolic disorder as a result of the incest. Yet in New Jersey, sex between a father and daughter is legal if the daughter is over 18. Yeah, believe it.

Other states, however, don't take kindly to any hint of incest. Take Texas, where an adult brother and sister were arrested just for making out.

More from The Stir: Brother & Sister Charged With Incest After Making Out in Front of Police

Doctors are trying to determine a prognosis for the baby right now but are awaiting results of genetic testing.

This poor kid got quite a horrible start in life, not as only the alleged product of incest, but with a mom who is mentally challenged and a very serious blood disease.

In this case, if reports are correct, the adult male took advantage of the teen girl's youth and mental challenges -- and it's the baby who will pay the highest price.


Image via Cherry Menlove/Flickr

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