Toddler with rare medical condition reunites with Maria Fareri Children's Hospital staff

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ULSTER COUNTY -

An Ulster County toddler faces a life-threatening obstacle but continues to thrive with the help of her family and her medical team.

Anna Wilklow-Riley was born with a rare medical condition called Harlequin ichthyosis. Her body is covered with excess skin, and infection is a significant concern.

She spent the first month of her life under the care of Dr. Elizabeth Zellner and a team of nurses at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was the first child ever treated for the genetic defect at the hospital.

"She makes a whole lot more skin and doesn't shed off the top layer, which is fine when you're in utero, floating around in water," says Zellner. "But once you hit the air, all that skin dries out."

Dr. Zellner is a plastic surgeon and performed the procedure to save Anna's hands and feet, as nurses worked diligently making sure Anna got back on the road to recovery.

According to Zellner, less than 20 children in the U.S. are born with it annually.

On Tuesday, she and her family reunited with those from Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.

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