“She’s a miracle baby,” the 35-year-old mother said yesterday. “But still, what on earth happened here?”
What happened is that baby Nmachi is a blue-eyed, blond-haired white baby born to two black Nigerian immigrant parents at a London hospital.
“The first thing I said was, ‘What the flip?’ ” said the father, Ben Ihegboro. “We both just sat there after the birth staring at her for ages — not saying anything.”
He quickly sought to dispel any speculation.
“Of course she is mine. My wife is true to me,” the 44-year-old customer-service adviser said. “Even if she hadn’t been, the baby still wouldn’t look like that.”
Genetics experts don’t believe in miracles, but they didn’t have any simple answers to the mystery of baby Nmachi. Instead, they offered three theories:
* She’s the result of a gene mutation unique to her. If that is the case, Nmachi would pass the gene to her children — and they, too, would likely be white.
* She’s the product of long-dormant white genes, passed on to her by her parents, that might have been carried by their predecessors for generations without surfacing until now.
* While doctors have said Nmachi is not an outright albino, or lacking in all pigment, they added that the child may have some kind of mutated version of the genetic condition — and that her skin could darken over time.