The Incredible Shrinking Baby Keeps Shrinking, Baffles Doctors

By Rachel Cernansky | May 5, 2009 12:04 pm

maggie.jpgMaggie Agnew has doctors stumped: She is shrinking, and rapidly becoming even more of a medical mystery than the baby that refused to grow.

Maggie is ten months old and weighs ten pounds, six ounces—a full seven pounds less than the expected weight for her age. Despite being on a feeding tube that gives her plenty of calories, she is literally growing smaller, and doctors have no idea why.

The girl was born with three holes in her heart, two of which have since healed. She was also born with an undersized airway, preventing her from breathing properly. And despite her continual loss of muscle mass, she has now outgrown her spinal cord’s capability. She may undergo surgery in June that could potentially remove part of her skull. But despite this list of health problems, doctors cannot explain how or why she is shrinking, and don’t know where the calories are disappearing to.

Her Utah parents hope to move Maggie to a Boston hospital this month, but in the meantime, she is on a ventilator and cannot walk or crawl. Meanwhile, her neighbors are throwing yard and bake sales to raise money for her treatment—let’s hope they’ve made an awful lot of brownies.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Doctors Baffled by U.K. Baby That Refuses to Grow
Discoblog: Turning a Man—To their own horror and that of their parents, some babies born with male genes end up with female parts.

Image: Agnew family

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  • Anthony Gallegos

    Leave the defective baby, and have a new kid. This child will contribute nothing to society but sadness.

  • http://www.layscience.net Martin

    …and the prize for moronic comment of the year goes to Anthony Gallegos!

  • Billy

    I feel bad for her family. I pray that I never have to go through the trials they are being put through now.

  • Michael C

    Has a gene test been done? It sounds like the power generators inside each cell are defective. There is no regulation (various levels, all higher then normal) or the power burners are on full throttle.

    I suppose the doctors have given her a thermal exam.

    I don’t suppose that the medical experts have a virus that would go in and shut down some “genrators”.

  • Melissa

    You, Anthony Gallegos, contribute absolutely nothing to society except your sheer stupidity. Congratulations! Darwin would be so very proud of you.

    As for the family, I do feel for them as it must be incredibly difficult going through something like this. I hope they are able to find a cure for their adorable daughter’s condition.

  • geeta

    Of the sevearl reasons – intended and unintended by parents only – that the babies are born, ‘contributing to society’ is not one; it is only a manufactured reason to get all those benfits and breaks that usually come with having babies. Once a baby is born, I am sure it is the baby that wants to live as well and and long as possible – for self happiness, not to save the world. Otherwise, we could do without all those medical drugs and procedures and let the fittest survive the good old fashioned way.

  • http://-- Prabhakar

    Sir I am very much anguished reading the pathetic condition of the baby. Let the Almighty give the strength to parents to bear the sad moments and let the baby thrive with doctors care and blessings of the people.

    When this baby grows she/he may chukkle and say Darwin may be wrong!!

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  • geeta

    Whether the baby survives or not, Darwin has always been right. If the baby survives, it is from the bought fitness, if the baby’s caretakers are well off enough to buy the baby that. Darwin’s theory had no comments on medical research and advances, but only on natural selection. Lot of ‘health’ and ‘fitness’ (and babies too!) are more and more artificial, as are a lot of sicknesses these days.
    Darwin has been one of the most readily mis-quoted scientists because he said a very unpleasant truth to be acceptable to the ego of the exploding, hopeless population of the world.

  • Christina Viering

    Interesting defect, would like to hear the results.

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  • Charles Barnes

    This is an interesting story. But the article kind of takes a whimsical tone, for such a sad story, doesn’t it? “Incredible Shrinking Baby.” “Let’s hope they made a lot of brownies.” I hate this kind of Time Magazine journalism that thinks every story has to end with some kind of lame quip…

  • Alan-Felix HUNT

    I know EXACTLY why this Child appear to be shrinking. In fact, I can answer ANY Birth Defect CAUSE ANSWER Question for ANY Organization, but not Individuals, Sorry. No big Staff to answer all… Editor, contact me and let’s discuss it. FREE lefty_70602@Yahoo.Com

  • Dot

    I found out today that my 18 month old son is shrinking. The dr has never heard of such a thing but he is now shorter than he was at 12 months old. He is going to go see a specialist and I pray they find a cause and treatment. He has had so many problems since his birth and each new problem is worse than the one before. I pray the dr’s helped your daughter!!!

  • katter gill

    It is really shocking but  no one can she the child like this. It is really sad to hear this. I really feel bad and pry to God that give strength to her family and make her well soon.
    kitchens miami

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