By Mark McConville
THE WORLD’s smallest ever mother has sadly passed away at the age of 44 after leading a remarkable life.
Stacey Herald, who was just 2ft 4ins, had a rare genetic condition called Osteogenisis Imperfecta, which stunts her growth and causes underdeveloped lungs and brittle bones.
She leaves behind husband Wil (35), daughters Kateri (11) and Makya (10) and son Malachi (8).
Stacey, from Kentucky, USA, was warned against becoming pregnant, because a baby could grow too big and crush her lungs and heart.
The determined mother successfully defied doctors three times but unfortunately Kateri and Malachi inherited her condition.
“Malachi was born without any broken bones,” said Stacey at the time of Malachi’s birth.
“People with our condition are often born with broken arms and legs because our bones are fragile and can be damaged by the birth.
“I’ve explained that they’re all special babies, but that the girls will have to be careful with Malachi, until he’s a bit older.
“When we found out Malachi had my condition it was hard. But we knew we would be the best support possible for him, because Kateri and I have both been there already.”
Stacey played an active part in looking after the children. She breastfed Malachi and had a specially built platform that allows her to bathe them and change nappies from her wheelchair. But trainee vicar Wil took charge of them at night as it then became too difficult for her.
Stacey particularly needed his help in looking after Makya, who was already a foot taller than her mum at just two years old.
“I can’t physically stop her if she’s upset. She’s too big for me now, so Wil has to take care of that,” she said.
Stacey and Wil met in 2000 while working in a supermarket and wed in 2004.