Teen thrives despite rare disease

Posted April 29, 2016

When John and Ingrid McCalmont’s second daughter Michelle was born 27 weeks premature at just 2 pounds, 6 ounces, they were worried about how this would impact their precious baby. Several months later her mother, who had experience as a dental hygienist, had a feeling that more than just her size was problematic.

“Very early, I thought her nails looked funny. And I knew that might indicate problems with her teeth, cartilage and bones,” said Ingrid McCalmont, a Centerville resident. “Then when she was 2, I was leaving bruises on her chest just by lifting her out of the tub.”

Her intuition was right; Michelle had a rare disease that was finally diagnosed when she was 3. They were told she had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a hereditary connective tissue disorder that leads to joint dislocation, fragile bones and excessive bleeding when injured.

“Doctors told me to keep her off the pavement. I remember thinking ‘Ha-ha, all the kids outside are jumping rope. How are we going to do that?’ ” remembers Ingrid McCalmont.
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