Rare diseases with high fever

Draper Resident Fights Lifelong Battle with Rare DiseaseAshton and Isabelle visit Michael while he is in the hospital with meningitis

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  • Ashton supports her little brother while he is in the hospital

Medical Mysteries

“Life can always be worse.”

The family of Juan Diego Catholic High School junior, Ashton Gately, seems to have little reason to make this quote a family motto. But when facing a rare and debilitating disease like they are, they say it brings perspective.

Some people long to be one in a million at something, but Michael Gately is one in seven billion—the only known person on Earth to have ever suffered from his illness—and he describes it as being a lonely way to live.

Michael was born with Michael Thomas Gately disease, an immune deficiency doctors named after him since they had never seen it before.

Doctors around the United States, as well as Germany, Singapore, and Sweden, remain unable to explain it; however, they have been able to use Michael as a medical map in order to find treatments for other immunodeficient children.

But Michael remains a medical mystery.

“It was kind of sad not being able to do all of the other stuff that everyone else was doing because you were in the hospital at the time, trying to figure out what was going on, ” Michael said. “I would say, compared to everyone else’s, [my childhood] was kind of terrible. Life could always be worse, though.”

Michael Thomas Gately disease, or MTG, causes Michael’s body to store and grow bacteria rather than fighting it. Because Michael doesn’t have an immune system, he gets sick frequently. Michael visits the hospital every three weeks to receive a blood product called Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG), in an attempt to create a synthetic immune system for him,

To make matters even more serious, Michael, who was born with a disease as rare as they come, also suffers from a rare reaction to the treatment in the form of aseptic (or sterile) meningitis. Michael says every three weeks, like clockwork, he gets meningitis from the IVIG, becomes sick for a week, and then gets two healthy weeks, if he’s lucky, before the cycle starts over again with another visit to the hospital.

This has been his routine for four years.

Michael has had 36 surgeries so far, ranging from small procedures to heart surgery and knee reconstruction surgery. He has also acquired numerous infections, including: tuberculosis, pertussis, haemophilus, influenza, and pseudomonas. Due to the bacteria-growing nature of his MTG disease, Michael cannot be immunized for any illness. His body would grow the infection rather than creating antibodies for it.

Michael is thirteen years old.

Michael’s Support System

The Gately kids compare their lives to the Hunger Games, only instead of fighting other kids with weapons in futuristic arenas, they are fighting rare diseases from modern-day hospital beds.

The health complications Michael was born with don’t stem from MTG alone. As if it wasn’t enough to suffer from one rare disease, Michael actually suffers from two. They are both virtually incurable. They have both left doctors puzzled.

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Popular Q&A

What disease includes high fever chills headache muscle aches vomiting and backache

Be Aware of Common Flu Symptoms
Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:
Fever (usually high)... Headache... Tiredness (can be extreme)... Cough... Sore throat... Runny or stuffy nose... Body aches... Chills... Diarrhea and vomiting...

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