By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE mother of a six-year-old boy diagnosed with a rare hereditary case of angioedema says her family is “truly grateful” for all the help they have received in recent months, but say they still cannot afford medicine needed when the condition flares up.
Angelica Miller said the life-threatening ailment her son, Tarique, suffers from has worsened. Ms Miller said she doesn’t want to lose her son and her only hope is the “kindness of the Bahamian public”.
To combat an attack – which can last up to six days Tarique requires two doses of medicine, costing $9,700.
Last October, the family received written notice from the Princess Margaret Hospital that the facility would be unable to treat Tarique and requested that the family seek further evaluation at the Joe DiMaggio Hospital in Florida.
In mid-November, the family’s worst fears were confirmed. Tarique was diagnosed with 100 per cent hereditary angioedema (HAE), meaning he would need more than regular injections to help battle his condition and that he would need extensive treatment over the course of his life.
In January, Ms Miller appealed for help in meeting the $200,000 costs.
HAE is caused by a low level or improper function of a protein called the C1 inhibitor. With HAE, the blood vessels are affected and an attack can result in rapid swelling of the hands, feet, limbs, face, intestinal tract, larynx (voicebox), or trachea (windpipe).
Attacks of swelling can become more severe in late childhood and adolescence.
Ms Miller said, “I am pushing to do the best I could for him. Treatment is costly, but am trying every avenue to get my son the help he needs.”
During flare-ups, the body experiences major swelling, particularly in the chest cavity, resulting in restricted breathing. Patients suffering with the condition are unable to produce the necessary protein needed to reduce swelling and fluid retention in the body.
“He has had attacks on and off, the hope is that with the treatment we can bring his flare-ups down to zero,” Ms Miller said.
Those who wish to give assistance should contact Ms Miller at 431-6536 or make a donation to Royal Bank account number 730-2227.