Zachary was diagnosed with autism when he was just two years old. Although autism can be a devastating diagnosis in and of itself, for Zachary’s mom Jennifer, it was even more difficult to realize that Zachary wasn’t responding to the traditional therapies available for autism. Instead, Zachary seemed to have something else going on, something that could quietly take him to a fragile and critical state. He began losing much of his early language development and was in a state of chronic fatigue and pain.
When Zachary was six years old, he began to experience the symptoms of Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, pain, photophobia, phonophobia and chronic fatigue. At 12 years old, he was hospitalized for Rhabdomyolsis, a life threatening condition in which muscle proteins are broken down- damaging the liver and kidneys. Something was terribly wrong. He was suffering and so much pain that he couldn’t walk and required the use of a wheelchair.
Zachary spent hours in the hospital ER and in various clinics taking every test that his doctors could think of, and always getting mysterious and confusing results. After his second hospitalization for Rhabdomyolsis, Zachary was referred to the see Dr. Boles at the Department of Medical Genetics. There, Dr. Boles was able to diagnose Zachary with Mitochondrial Disorder and began him on the “Mito Cocktail” – a combination of medicine, supplements and a food routines. With this protocol, Zachary’s symptoms began to improve. The cyclical vomiting subsisted as did the pain and fatigue, allowing him to leave his wheelchair 90% of the time. Even Zachary’s language skills are improving. Now at the age of 15, he is beginning to sing and listen to music for the first time in his life.
Today, Zachary uses his wheelchair only to visit the Zoo and Disneyland—places Jennifer never dared to take him before. After years of suffering, the “mito cocktail” has given him a quality of life every child deserves.