6 Dec. 2016
Gleyse Kelly da Silva holds her daughter Maria Giovanna in Recife, Brazil, January 25, 2016. Ueslei Marcelino: 'Silva was seven months pregnant when an ultrasound showed her unborn baby's head had stopped growing. Her 3-month-old daughter Maria Giovanna has microcephaly, a deformation characterised by abnormally small heads that can also include brain damage. I spent some time with Silva and her family, watching her look after her daughter. "I never imagined my daughter could be born with a defect,Ó Silva said. "When I saw her the first time I cried... I saw my perfect daughter and thanked God. It was a feeling of love, happiness." The family has been supportive towards the couple. They treat Maria Giovanna as they would any other baby. Such an assignment is delicate, the family are anxious about whatÕs happening and itÕs important to be sensitive and respectful. I always arrive with my camera lowered and speak to people first. Everyone needs to be listened to. Silva has set up a phone-messaging group with other mothers whose babies have microcephaly. They share experiences and support each other. She is hopeful that her daughter will not suffer any severe consequences in the future and that Maria Giovanna will grow up to walk, talk and play with other children. "I cannot believe it when the doctors say she will not walk," she said. "I need to believe that everything will be all right." In the months that followed I kept in touch with the family; their lives are not easy. Kelly left her job to take care of their daughter full-time. Her husband has a temporary job, but he earns less than $200 per month. Maria Giovanna needs a lot of medicine and the family doesnÕt have enough money to pay for her treatment. The family hopes to receive help from the government or a social programme, but say they havenÕt received any assistance yet.' REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "2016 PIX" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.