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ERIC Number: EJ866332
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
The Power of the Powerless
Welch, Cay
Exceptional Parent, v39 n9 p38 Sep 2009
This is a Pittsburgh story. It is about a boy named Michael Charles Metil--a boy that transformed many lives, including the author's. While visiting grandparents over the Christmas holiday in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1993, Michael became sick. He was lethargic, vomiting, and had some diarrhea. Little did his parents realize how very sick he was, or the fact that he had an undetected genetic disorder since birth. The sickness during the holidays was later recognized as acidosis and catabolism. A rare disorder, glutaric acidemia-type1 (GA-1), was dormant until it was activated by a crisis caused by calorie insufficiency, dehydration, and an infection. This would be the start of a life-long medical journey. GA-1 is an autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism. Protein, especially lysine and tryptophan, can't break down to become energy for the body. They are converted into toxins in the bloodstream, in turn injuring the brain. This neurological insult can be life threatening and irreversible. For Michael, the results of his illness were destructive, reverting him back to a newborn stage. As Michael grew, so did his medical complications. The list was endless--full of surgery after surgery. Hips, legs, bowels, stomach. Thru it all he kept his smile and taught everyone humility and compassion on a daily basis. Michael inspired his cousin to become a special education teacher, his babysitter to become a nurse, his parents to start a foundation and open a winery in his namesake. As time passed by, so did Michael. He graced everyone with his presence for 15 summers, dying in June 2009.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania