Spokane hospital offers unique treatment for rare disease

January 25, 2012

EPHRATA, Wash. — One year ago, a young boy from Ephrata was fighting for his life after being diagnosed with a rare disease.  But a local hospital was one of only a few places in the world offering special treatment for his illness.

The Brewer family found out their son, Isaiah, had a life-threatening disease last year after he began having blood in his urine, throwing up and became very pale.  His parents say they rushed Isaiah to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a rare condition called Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.  They say Isaiah’s body was basically destroying his own red blood cells.

Doctors told the family Isaiah’s chances of survival did not look good.  Luckily, the family happened to live close to a highly specialized care center for his unique condition.  Sacred Heart Medical Center had just opened a clinical trial for a drug called Eculizamab, which is commonly known as Soliris.  The hospital is one of only 20 locations in the world to offer the treatment.

The family decided to have Isaiah start treatment immediately.  His parents say they noticed a dramatic change almost instantly.

Before Soliris was available, more than half of all patients suffering from this disease had permanent kidney damage or died.

Isaiah will have to take medicine for the rest of his life, but his parents say they are just thankful there is something out there that will help keep their son alive and healthy.

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