Three-Year-Old Boy Can Only Eat One Food - And It Expires in October
Three-year-old Michael Gonzalez is running out of the time.
According to ABC News, the toddler has been diagnosed with Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. The syndrome is not altogether uncommon, and it consists of an intolerance to milk or soy when babies are six months to a year old. Michael began exhibiting symptoms from birth, essentially; his parents said that they would feed him and it would just make him angry. They thought that he would starve.
Normally, the condition goes away when children are Michael's age, NBC News reports. However, doctors say that his case is one of the worst that they have seen. He reacts to all foods - carrots, apples, juice, everything. After eating a food that provokes a reaction, his mother says that he vomits and suffers from severe pain. Then, within 12 hours of ingesting the food that provoked the reaction, the boy will suffer from diarrhea so severe that he has extreme dehydration and lethargy.
The condition is so bad that his parents have been told that he may not "age out" until he reaches high school, according to KSTP.
However, little Michael may not have until then. His parents found a saving grace with the baby was 11 months old in the form of prescription-only Neocate Junior Unflavered without Probiotics. It was the only thing that Michael could tolerate, and the family says that they go through 20 to 30 bottles a day.
Three weeks ago, though, the company changed the packaging of the drink. The company says that they did not change anything besides the packaging, but Michael began reacting to the Neocate as well. The company says that 14 other children and their families have reported the same, though they cannot explain why.
In the meantime, the family has started stockpiling old versions of the formula that Ms. Gonzalez purchases from the Internet. The purchases have cost the family hundreds of dollars, but they come with an even more troublesome hitch. The cans expire on October 28, 2013 - so, when they run out of time, so will Michael.
"We have not changed our formulation. We have consulted with the FDA and have also undertaken additional tests internally and with independent, external groups to conform the product formulation is indeed the one we have always used," Nutricia, Neocate's maker, said in a statement to FOX4. "We have offered the Gonzalez family our full support."
The family is currently taking Michael to see every specialist at the Mayo Clinic in the hopes that they can unravel the medical mystery of why Michael can eat nothing. So far, none of the doctors have.