A new record for the shortest female living (non-mobile) has been achieved by Wildine Aumoithe (USA).
The 18-year-old from North Miami Beach, Florida, USA, is just 72 cm (28.3 in) tall, as confirmed on 13 October 2021.
During the day of her record attempt, her measurements were taken three times.
The measuring process was overseen by Guinness World Records adjudicator Michael Empric, who confirmed Wildine’s record-breaking height. He was then able to present Wildine with her certificate - along with a congratulatory fist bump!
Wildine’s main motivation for obtaining the record was to inspire other little people.
"I want to show the world that even though I am short I am able to live my best life and I can conquer this world even though this world was not build for me." - Wildine Aumoithe
She is also proud to be the first Haitian-American to hold a shortest woman world record.
Wildine’s stature is due to an extremely rare type of Dwarfism.
"The type of dwarfism I have is SADDAN dysplasia. Dwarfism is a genetic condition and there is about 400 types of Dwarfism – I have the rarest type," Wildine explained.
This particular type of dwarfism also makes it difficult or impossible to walk, which means she mostly relies on a motorised wheelchair to get around.
"I’m able to sit on the floor and move around but I can’t walk now because my legs are like, bowed legs, which is common with SADDAN dysplasia."
Her disorder means that when Wildine was first born, her future was very uncertain, and doctors didn’t know if Wildine could make it through the night, let alone to her 18th birthday.
"They actually send me to a hospice for six months to see if I was going to die – but I didn’t. After that they gave me to my mom."
The emotional toll this must have taken on Wilda, Wildine’s mother, is unimaginable. However, through this adversity, Wildine and her mom forged a special and unbreakable bond that continues to this day.
"My mom is pretty much my best friend because she helps me with everything. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know what my life would be."
"Doctors said I wouldn’t live past 24 hours and my mom accepted it and kept on going. She’s a good mom - she never gave up."
Wilda is Wildine’s main carer and doesn’t work so that she can be with Wildine 24/7.
Wildine has three other siblings, two brothers and one sister.
She did have another older brother, but he sadly he passed away due to sleep apnea – a disorder that Wildine also suffers with, along with asthma.
Despite everything Wildine has had to deal with at such a young age, her outlook always remains positive and determined.
She shared that she has, thankfully, never been bullied due to her Dwarfism.
"I know that’s surprising as I know most little people do get bullied at school."
"The only issue I have with it is people staring at me when I go out in public. But that’s the normal for little people."
However, Wildine has a clear message for anyone who may perceive her as "different".
"Height is just a number. Just because I’m a little person doesn’t mean I’m different to anybody else. I’m still human at the end of the day."
Wildine started a YouTube channel, Life Of Wildine, in February 2020 to show people how she lives her life as a little person, and to help spread awareness about Dwarfism and issues such as disability representation.
In addition to running her YouTube channel, she has big plans for the future.
Wildine is going to college to study Pharmacy – perhaps with a minor in graphic design.
"What inspired me to do that is that I’ve never seen a little person who was a pharmacist. I wanted to see if I could become the first little person to be a pharmacist!"
Wildine’s tenacity and "larger than life" personality stems from her mindset of never letting others define who you are.
"Don't listen to what they have to say, just be yourself. Keep going and chase your dreams. Just know you are perfect just the way you are."
She hopes to show with her achievement that little people can lead just as much of a fulfilling life as others.
"I want people to see that us little people can be very successful and [I want to] advocate for people with dwarfism."
As one of Wildine's favourite quotes by Dr. Seuss goes, "a person's a person, no matter how small".
With all that she has accomplished at 18 years of age, Wildine is sure to go on to do great things and inspire many more people in her lifetime.
Wildine is passionate about the organization Little People of America. They support and provide information to people of short stature and their families.
The previous record holder for shortest female living (non-mobile)
This record was last held by Madge Bester (South Africa, b. 26 April 1963) who first had her record confirmed in 1999.
She was 65 cm (25.5 in) tall and had Osteogenesis imperfecta (characterized by brittle bones and other deformities of the skeleton). Madge sadly passed away on 19 March 2018.
Her mother Winnie was not much taller, measuring 70 cm (27.5 in) and, like her daughter, was a wheelchair user.