Having one child in need of a liver transplant can be tremendously challenging for a parent. Eugenia and Justino Hurtado have four.
All four of the Hurtado children were born with Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) — a rare genetic metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to break down certain parts of proteins due to an enzyme deficiency. The disease can lead to a buildup of toxic substances that cause organ and brain damage.
Adolescents and adults with MSUD are also at risk for attention deficit disorder, anxiety and depression. Infections, stress, surgeries and injuries can lead to neurological damage at any age.
People with MSUD get most of their nutrients from a prescribed liquid formula. They can eat some low-calorie foods but must be very careful. If they stray from the diet, they can experience muscle spasms, breathing failure, intellectual and developmental disabilities or even coma. Read full post »