A Young Girl With Mitochondrial Disease Sees Snow For the First Time

According to a story from Central Texas News Now, a four-year-old girl with an extremely rare form of mitochondrial disease got her wish to see snow. The girl, Scarlett Landry, has a condition that might cause her to die suddenly at any time, and she was one of ten people in the world to be diagnosed with Ying Yang 1, the name of the disease subtype that she has.

Mitochondrial disease is any condition in which the function of the mitochondria, an organelle that is responsible for generating energy to power a cell, is impeded. Changes in mitochondrial function are a complication found in other diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and cancer. To learn more about mitochondrial diseases, click here. At her young age, Scarlett has had fifty surgical procedures in order to keep her alive. Her disease was incredibly difficult to diagnose, but doctors suspected mitochondrial disease when she did not react well to Propofol, a common anaesthetic.

Due to the great variety of subtypes of mitochondrial disease, symptoms can vary widely. Because her body is unable to process the energy derived from food normally, the girl has to snack constantly in order to absorb sufficient calories to power her body. Even when she sleeps, she has to utilize a feeding tube in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Scarlett needs a nurse by her side at essentially all times. In addition, she becomes fatigued far more easily than most people.

Because of the constant monitoring that is necessary to keep her alive, Scarlett has had little opportunity to travel aside from visiting family. However, the Make-a-Wish Foundation is stepping in to change the situation. Scarlett and her family are going to travel to Colorado to fulfill Scarlett’s desire to see snow, which almost never occurs in her hometown of Fort Hood, Texas. Her mother Terrin Barker-Thomas knows that the trip will mean a lot for Scarlett. After all, keeping the girl alive barely feels worth it if she is trapped because of her disease and is unable to experience the outside world.

Scarlett also got a different wish granted when she became a firefighter for a day and paid a visit to Fort Hood’s fire department. With her life hanging in the balance, it only makes sense to makes the most of her days.

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