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Kody’s Story

This is our son, Kody .  In 2003 he was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia.  We keep this site as well as a blog: www.lisachampagne-miner.blogspot.com  Please take a moment to check out the blog as well as www.fortheloveofkody.blogspot.com 

These are both other ways to keep up with Kody and with our family.

I guess I should begin with the fact that I always deep down knew there was something not quite medically right with Kody. Most physicians I expressed this to thought I was just an overly worried mother. But I knew I wasn't. Its hard to explain. I had tried to get approval to take him to a specialist since he was a toddler....maybe 3 y/o. Finally when he was 7 y/o was fed up and told the physicians that I was demanding a referral. Kody was first referred to see a Orthopedic Specialist. (Because his main problem was his walking or as physicians say his gait was abnormal or ataxia as it's now referred to as.) That specialist thought Kody had Cerebal Palsy or CP for short. But he referred him to a Physical Medicine doctors to be sure. (I guess like a second opinion.) The PM doctor said that it wasn't CP but that it was something. He believe something neurological. So he referred us to Dr.Gyula Acsadi a neurologist who worked at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Well he knew right away what Kody probably had. So he ran genetic screening for Friedreich's Ataxia. 3 weeks later We got a positive diagnosis for FRDA. The date was 7/27/2003. And that is where everything began.  Current project we are working on is getting funding together to purchase a barrier free pool home in Florida .. if you would like to donate please do so through www.paypal.com .. our email address for that is champagnelisa78@hotmail.com And please pass this along to help in our quest to make this all possible.

Latest Journal Update

Whew Over A Year??? Sry Everyone

Life has been crazy busy since the last time we wrote in this journal.  We moved to GA in the end of June 2013 and got a new puppy (Sadie) and are now working on establishing doctors for Kody here.  We did see a cardiologist a week or so ago.  This is their notations:

Dear D. Champagne (this is because this letter was sent to us)

Chief Complaint: Friedreich's Ataxia and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Pertinent Clinical History: Kody is a 17 year old male who is seen for the first time in our practice, having recently relocated from the Tampa, FL area where he was followed by Pediatric Cardiology Associates for his hypertropic cardiomyopathy secondary to Friedreich's Ataxia which was diagnosed at the age of 7 years while the family was living in Michigan at the time.  He is not currently on any cardiac medications, having failed even low-dose atenolol due to low BP (50's/30's) with recurrent syncope.  He was also tried on the investigational medication idebenone as part of a research trial but has to stop it due to an "allergic reaction."  He has occasionally taken lasix PRN when he has leg edema, but he is not on any standing lasix dose due to concerns over his dynamic left ventricular outflow tract obstruction being worsened by hypovolemia.  When he was last seen by his cardiologist in Florida in February 2013, a 24 hour Holter monitor was placed, the results of which are not available for my review.  His mother was told that it revealed "arrhythmic moments" and was as expected given his condition.  His cardiac records have been requested, and his mother will be scheduling him to be seen by neurology, orthopedics, and pulmonary medicine locally.  He denies any palpatations, but he will occasionally have pressure-like right-sided chest pain that is not associated with other symptoms and which does not require any treatment to resolve spontaneously.  He also has significant scoliosis and restrictive lung disease and is wheelchair bound.

Kody has a past medical history and family history are documented in the medical record.

A 10 system review was performed and is documented in the medical record.

Medications:  No current outpatient prescriptions on file.

Pertinent physical findings: 
Pulse 100, Resp 18, BP RUE 100/78 mmHg, BP LLE 112/0 mmHg, Wt (wheelchair bound), Ht (wheelchair bound)

Constitutional: no distress, wheelchair bound with profound muslce weakness and difficulty speaking, cachectic, and small for age.
Head: normocephalic, atraumatic
Eyes: normal sclera, conjunctiva, and lids
ENT: inspection of nares, gums, oral mucosa, and external ears appears normal
Neck: mobile with weak muscle tone
Chest and lungs: clear to auscultation and fair air exchange without wheezes with asymmetric chest shape.
Cardiac: normal active precordium, regular rhythm, normal S1, physiologically split S2, no diastolic murmurs, clicks, rubs, or gallops, brachial and femoral pulses are 2+ and symmetric without delay, normal distal perfusion with brisk capillary refill, no jugular venous distention and no clubbing, cyanosis, or edema; grade I-II/VI medium frequency systolic ejection murmur maximal at the left sternal border and radiating along the sternal border.
Abdomen: no masses, no hepatamegally, no splenomegally and soft and nontender / active bowel sounds.
Muscoskeletal: severly decreased muscle strength diffusely; sever scoliosis
Extremities: decreased muscle tone in extremities
Skin: clearn, no rashes, no lesions.
Neurological: cooperative, able to speak a few words at a time without becoming out of breath.

ECG: due to his known hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a 12 lead electrocardiogram was performed in order to assist with the evaluation of his rhythm and ventricular forces.  This was obtained and demonstrated: normal sinus rhythm at 96 bpm with a normal corrected QTc interval of 401 msec.  There was inferolateral T-wave inversions as previously reported with ST segment elevation in leads V1-V3 as previously seen.

Echocardiogram: Given his past hypertrophic cardiomyopathy I did recommend an echocardiogram in order to evaluate for any worsening of his ventricular function or left ventricular outflow tract obstruction.  This study was obtained and demonstrated severe concentric left ventricular hypertrophy with a IVSd of ~18-19 mm and a LVPWd of 14 mm.  There was a near LV cavity obliteration in systole with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve resulting in very mild mitral regurgitation.  There was no effusion and no evidence of cor pulmonale.  There was good biventricular systolic function but evidence of significant left ventricular diastolic dysfunction based on tissue Doppler imagine. Overall, the left ventricular wall thickness seems compariable to his report from his previous study in Florida.

1) Friedreich's Ataxia
2) Severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy without significant resting LVOT obstruction.
3) Systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve (SAM) with very mild regurgitation.
4) No pericardial effusion.
5) Marked left ventricular diastolic dysfunction with "normal" sytolic function in the setting of marked left ventricular hypertrophy.

Discussion:  At the present time given Kody's stable clinical status, I have not recommended any cardiac medications since he was intolerant of beta-blockers and idebenone.  I did review the importance of keeping him well-hydrated as hypovolemia could potentially result in increased dynamic left ventricular outflow tract obstruction.  I would also suggest that he be followed in our hypertrophic cardiomyopathy clinic and that the family establish care with a local pediatrician as well as a pediatric neurologist, pulmonolgist, and orthopedic surgeon.  His mother is in agreement with this plan.  Overall, it would seen that his prognosis is poor given the severity of his heart disease,  There is a notation in his records from Florida that a DNR order was in place.  This should reasonably be re-addressed once he has been seen by our HCM clinic and by his local subspecialist.

Now this is all fine and dandy since I do like this doctor.  The clinic wants him to be evaluated by the doctors in the clinic who specialize in HCM.  This is an appointment that should happen about 3 months from this month.  So the appointment should be in December.  Though I try to keep that month free and clear but hey you do what has to be done.  

I am waiting for an email back from his CMS nurse coordinator Stacey with numbers for a Pulmonologist, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, and Neurologist.  Not to mention we have to make an appointment for the new pup to see the vet.  

Kody is doing his 11th grade year completely online.  He is taking CHEMISTRY .... and doing quite well.  He thought about quitting and just getting his GED but then changed his mind.  Now time to change the picture of him on this journal ... updates updates.