Special-Needs Toddler Celebrates Birthday With 'Unicorn,' Thanks To Kindness Of Strangers
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - A little girl will soon celebrate a birthday her family never expected.
Leyton Hull turns two in April. It's a huge milestone for her and her family, as doctors told them she'd never live this long.
Leyton has a condition called Holoprosencephaly, a cephalic disorder in which the brain does not divide into two different hemispheres.
"They told us to terminate her," said Jennifer Hull, Leyton's mom. "They told us - every doctor's appointment - to terminate her. So, having her coming out screaming, crying, was a miracle in itself. And to be here today at two is unbelievable."
Because this birthday is so special, Jennifer wanted to commemorate it with a unicorn theme, complete with a photo shoot.
"We had a one-percent chance of making it this far, and here we are," Jennifer explained. "To us, that's magical, and unicorns are magical. I thought that was perfect."
Jennifer thought having an actual "unicorn" to surprise Leyton would make the day perfect.
A friend of Jennifer's asked me to post Leyton's story and the request for a "unicorn" to Facebook. Within just a few hours, someone saw the post and stepped up to help.
"I wanted to make it happen for her," said Shi Leonard, who owns several horses with her husband in Chelsea.
Shi and her husband transformed their horse Preacher into the perfect unicorn for Leyton's birthday photoshoot, which took place Friday afternoon in downtown Claremore.
"I did make a horn just in case," Leonard smiled. "We spray-painted some pink and purple on his hair, and glitter on his feet."
That little bit of dress-up went a long way for a special little girl.
"This community has been amazing this whole journey with her," Jennifer said, "supportive, they reach out with everything they can do for us, it's been amazing."
Photographer Kathleen Bratton-Batts, founder of The Inclusion Project, will post some of the photos she took Friday to her Facebook page.
Leyton's birthday party will be held next month. Jennifer is hoping to arrange a carriage ride for Leyton. If you can help in any way, send me a Facebook message.