A black Nigerian mother who gave birth to a million-to-one, white, blue-eyed baby boy has stunned doctors by having a second white child.
Financial analyst Catherine Howarth, thrived the rare recessive white gene that resulted in son Jonah, three, being completely white would not strike a second time.
So she was stunned when the midwife handed her daughter Sophia and she was as white as her big brother.
The mum from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, believes she is the only black mother in the world to have given birth to two white, blue-eyed children.
‘When Jonah was born, a genetic specialist said he was a one-in-a-million baby. He said it was extraordinary with my African background that I’d had a child with blue eyes and pale skin.
‘He calculated the possibility of it happening again was less than one in a million.
‘So when Sophia was born with white skin and blue eyes I was more than taken aback with shock. It seems the odds of it happening twice are millions-to-one. No-one has heard of a black mum having two white babies one after the other.’
While husband Richard, 37, an engineer, is completely white, the couple from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire thought their second child would be much darker than their first.
‘When I had Jonah he was so white both Richard and I thought the midwife had given us the wrong child. But if anything, having Sophia has been even more of a shock because we were sure it couldn’t happen twice.
‘I was stunned when I saw her blue eyes and light skin.’
Doctors were equally amazed when Sophia was born last March. Catherine is of Nigerian decent with no white genes in her family.
‘My parents were from Nigeria and as far back as anyone can recall my family have all been black.
‘The only explanation seems to be there must have been a white gene in my family that has remained dormant for years until now. And now it seems to be very dominant.’
Dad Richard said:
‘While it is interesting how the genes have aligned themselves, it doesn’t matter to us what colour our children’s skin is. We just feel incredibly lucky to have a beautiful son and daughter. Having healthy and happy kids is all that matters.’