2-year-old Fort Pierce boy fights mysterious illness

Author: CBS 12
Published: Updated:
Photo via CBS12

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CBS 12) A Fort Pierce family vacation in Orlando was cut short when their 2-year-old son became severely sick.

The Lewis family rushed their toddler, Max, to the ICU at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

He’s been there for weeks, with no end in sight.

Max has been struggling with his health his entire life, and his family has no idea why.

“I’m very scared because I haven’t had any answers for why he gets sick,” said Jillian Lewis, Max’s mother.

The mystery illness has stumped doctors since Max was born, but the doctors at Nemours Children’s Hospital are finally giving his family some hope.

Dr. Kenneth Alexander is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital said Max was born was an immune deficiency, which eventually developed pneumococcus, a type of bacterial disease, that spread to his knee and his left lung.

“This triggered an immune response kind of an abnormal inflammatory where his own body is now attacking red cells and his kidneys,” said Dr. Alexander.

The disease eventually caused Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition caused by the abnormal destruction of red blood cells.

The medicine needed for that rare disease has a price tag of $50,000.

“What’s at stake here is Max’s life, this can be a fatal process and every bit is important,” said Dr. Alexander.

Once max is better, then the doctors at Nemours Children’s Hospital will be able to see what his immune problem is. In the meantime, the family is moving from Fort Pierce to Orlando so that the doctors can continue their research to help Max live a healthy and normal life.

“I think his prognosis for a long healthy life is pretty good,” said Dr. Alexander.

“Our main focus is getting him better and hopefully coming together here as a family,” said Jillian.

On Wednesday, the family’s favorite music artist, Bezz Believe, paid a visit to Nemours Children’s Hospital.

He is sharing Max’s story on his website so that others are aware of his condition, and hopes others out there can help the Lewis family.

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