Rare Disorder Leaves Teen Unable To Eat, Drink Without Getting Sick



Imagine if your teenager couldn't eat or drink without getting sick. A Seward, Nebraska boy had it happen to him. His diagnosis is the only case Nebraska has ever seen.

Noah Patton, a freshman at Seward High School, lives for wrestling. “I've been doing it since I was 4." But six months ago it was Noah who was down for the count. “Hospital for a week, hospital for another week.”

“He just started vomiting and vomiting would last four to five hours,” said Noah’s mother, Michele Patton.

The 14-year-old couldn't eat or drink anything and started drastically losing weight. "I started out at 136 after wrestling, then I dropped down to 120."

His family said doctors had a hard time figuring out what was wrong with him.

It took three months to figure out it was Rumination Syndrome.

“We had never heard of it, our doctor had never heard of it," said Michele.

It's so rare, Noah is the only case Children's Hospital in Omaha has ever seen.

The only thing Noah can eat or drink is PediaSure. That means his mom has to pick up more than 300 bottles a month and it's expensive, $700-$800.

“Insurance doesn't pay for liquid nutrition." said Michele.

Not only is it expensive, it is a hassle.

“My food has to come through this.” Michele fills a pump with the PediaSure and it runs through his tube through the night. “It runs for seven hours and has to be changed."

Michele even had to put a twin bed next to Noah's because the pump can malfunction at night. “And that's okay. I'll do it as long as I have to."

Mal and Noah

Noah hasn't been able to go to school since January, but keeps up by doing his homework at home. “He passed with all A's so I couldn't ask for any more than that."

The hardest part of this six-month journey? “I just don't really like to get out of the house anymore. Sometimes that's harder to deal with than the physical aspect of it."

But with his family behind him, Noah will get through this. He's on a waiting list for a hospital in Ohio. “They basically retrain my body to eat." And he hopes to one day be back fishing and his true love, victory on the wrestling mat.

Noah hopes by sharing his story it will help any others who may be going through this.

His biggest wish is to return to school as a Sophomore this year.

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