At the start of season 15 of Sister Wives, Janelle’s daugher Maddie Brown Brush and her husband Caleb Brush debuted their daughter Evangalynn, who is called “Evie” for short, to Maddie’s siblings and the show’s audience. They did a bit of an unveiling by pulling a blanket off of the baby carrier to show the wide-eyed beautiful little girl, but they had to offer some education as well. Evie has been diagnosed with FATCO syndrome, which is a “congenital limb malformation syndrome,” according to Orpha.net.
“If anybody doesn’t know, she has a syndrome called FATCO syndrome, she is missing bones,” Maddie tells the group.
Evie’s grandmother Janelle Brown explains her syndrome as “limb differences.” She is missing a few fingers, and is missing some bones in her hands and feet. When Evie gets a bit older, she’ll probably have surgery to help straighten her limbs. She currently has a prosthetic foot, which Maddie shared on Instagram.
“I don’t want her to ever feel like it’s a limitation. I don’t ever want her feel like it’s a crutch. She’s going to be a fierce fighter,” Maddie says on the episode about how she envisions her daughters’ life as she grows.
FATCO isn’t the only health struggle Evie has had in her short life; she had trouble breathing after her home birth on Aug. 20, 2019, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Christine Brown says watching the ambulance pull up for Evie was one of the only times in her life she’s been genuinely scared. Thankfully, however, Evie pulled through and was released after three days with healthy lungs.
In 2019 Maddie relayed to PEOPLE magazine that she has felt guilt over her daughtr’s diagnosis.
“There were lots of emotions — lots of, ‘What did I do wrong? Could I have done anything?’ ” she told People. “Just so much guilt. But I was also relieved because there could have been a whole lot more wrong.”
FATCO stands for “fibular aplasia, tibial campomelia and oligosyndactyly” and is a congential condition that has no known cause. Maddie is happy to share about her daughter’s conditon in order to bring awareness and help others feel less alone.
Evie is now one-year-old and has has a three-year-old brother named Axel James.