LEHIGH ACRES – A Lehigh Acres toddler has a rare disorder that only allows him to eat one specific food — now his family says the recipe to that food has changed.
Tuesday, a representative from the company that makes the food met with the family to try to prove offer them a helping hand.
The Gonzalez family says the vice-president of the Nutricia, the company that makes the food for their 3-year-old Michael, paid them a personal visit. But they still don’t have a solution and they’re worried Michael could die.
He suffers from a condition called Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome — also called F-PIES for short.
For Michael’s mom, Jennifer, it translates to long nights.
“Vomiting, severe pain, then within the next 12 hours it’s diarrhea to the point he becomes severely dehydrated and lethargic,” said Jennifer Gonzalez.
Doctors say the condition normally goes away by the time kids turn Michael’s age — making his case, like the disorder itself, somewhat of a mystery.
“The natural history of this disorder is still not known completely,” explained Dr. Virane Weerasooriya, a pediatric gastroenterologist.
Experts say half of children diagnosed are usually limited to one food. The problem is that Michael is suddenly reacting differently to his one food.
Nutricia told the family only one change had occurred — not to the formula — but a simple label change.
But in January, the company issued an update on their website stating 15 families were experiencing similar problems.
Tuesday, the vice-president of Nutricia met privately with the Gonzalez family to connect the family with the right doctors to help find alternative nutritional solutions.
“They offered to send us to top doctors to find out what our child has. It’s worse than anything he’s been diagnosed with,” Jennifer said.
Nutricia told the family that a new update to the formula will be released later this month, which the family hopes solves the problem once and for all.