Area Panhandle Toddler Clings to Life

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

It's not an easy topic for him and his wife Edna Grey to talk about. Their two year old son Stephen has a rare, but deadly disease.

To make matters worse, a few weeks back Edna noticed her baby boy with a huge knot on his head. Edna says the protrusion formed out of nowhere. The family later was told the knot is a result of another disease, Henoch-Scholein Purpura or HSP.
HSP is a disorder which causes the blood vessels to inflame then leak.

Stephen bled heavily from many parts of his body. Even his intestines filled up with blood and even now you may see blood vessels poking out of his arm.

When doctors discovered the problem, they came upon a third disease racking the toddlers body, cysts covering his kidneys, something he inherited from his father.

The good news is HSP can cure itself and the cyst won't be a hindrance until Stephen's in his mid-30's, but what Stephens' family fears, is that the same disease that killed their first son just shy of his 6th birthday could possibly kill Stephen in 6 months.

That is unless he finds a bone marrow donor match. The family is living with their aunt in Noma, Florida for moral support.

She's opened an account in Stephen's name and has set up a bone marrow drive

Stephen's 2 sisters don't have the disease. Doctors believe Stephen and his brother inherited the gene from his parents.

He's currently on steroids and blood pressure medication.

On August 13 there will be a bone marrow drive at the Graceville Civic Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and if you'd like to make a monetary donation you may do so at the People's Bank in Graceville, Florida. P.O. Box 596, Graceville, FL.


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