Michael is your typical teenager who enjoys running, fishing, NASCAR, swimming, and being active with friends and family. He has a deep love for our country, Texas, and enjoys discussing current events. He is charismatic, intelligent, and hardworking.
In June 2020, at age 14, prior to the start of High School, Michael experienced the sudden onset of bilateral hearing loss after an allergic reaction to peanuts. October 2020, Michael started to experience issues with both of his eyes (light sensitivity, watering, and burning), worsening hearing loss, and a numbness and weakness in his feet and legs along with Peripheral Neuropathy. After visits to the emergency room and seeing specialists with no resolve, in December 2020 Michael was admitted to the hospital where he underwent more testing, including extensive Genetic testing. As things seemed to stabilize, we were discharged from the hospital in time to celebrate Christmas at home. While we waited for genetic test results, Michael began physical therapy.
February 1, 2021, we heard the devastating news Michael had Mitchell Syndrome, and his symptoms were the early onset of this progressive neurodegenerative disease. From February 2021 to 2022, by the grace of God, physical therapy, and starting N-acetylcysteine, Michael had a period of improvement and stability.
In March 2022, he experienced another significant decline in hearing and eye issues after an episode of fatigue and nausea. We continue to manage these symptoms to this day. This month Michael will begin Physical Therapy to address progressive weak ankles and balance.
We have an open and seemingly healthy level of communication about his illness and well-being. He has a strong support system, and his resilience and perseverance inspire many to keep moving forward and live life to the fullest.
-Written by Michael's Mom, Mary (Updated August 2022)
*This group is being set up to follow Michael’s journey and rally around him and our family on the road ahead. We welcome prayers and support as we increase awareness about Mitchell Syndrome and shine a light on what God is doing in our lives.