Parents Desperately Search for Food Their Baby Can Eat Without Dying

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 20, 2014   |   4:16PM   |   Topeka, KS

The parents of a little girl in Kansas are having problems getting their daughter to eat. It’s not that she’s picky or refuses the food they offer her. Instead, she has a very rare disorder that makes it so her body aggressively attacks itself any time she eats any kind of food, with one exception.

Maehlee Her is 13 months old and has eosinophilic esophagitis, which is a rare condition causes her to get horrible diarrhea and vomiting every time she eats normal food. The only thing she can currently stomach is squash. The rare disorder makes her white blood cells attack her body every time she swallows food.

mahleeParents Marci Flory and Kao Her are desperate to find foods that don’t put little Maehlee’s health and potentially her life at risk.

From the story:

Mother Marci Flory and father Kao Her tell the Topeka Capital-Journal that they were lucky to find that one thing their daughter could eat.

For the first several months of her life, Maehlee lived in nonstop misery as her body attacked itself every time she swallowed any food.

‘She didn’t sleep, and she started refusing to eat,’ Ms Flory told the newspaper.

At one point, she hadn’t eaten anything for 15 hours straight.

Even a single morsel could set her body against her. On recent afternoon, Maehlee found a doughnut crumb at her grandmother’s house and put it in her mouth.

Vomiting and screaming for hours followed almost immediately.

Topeka doctors told Mr Flory and Mr Her that Maehlee simply had a colic or bad acid reflux.

But, after months of enduring their daughter’s screams, the family took Maehlee to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where doctors found white patches in her throat and a biopsy showed high levels of white blood cells.

‘The white blood cells are wired wrong, and when children with this condition eat food, the white blood cells come in to fight off the food because they think the food is a foreign invader,’ Ms Flory explained to the Capital-Journal.



Doctors said Maehlee had eosinophilic esophagitis, a digestive disorder. They told the parents to take her off all food and put her on Elecare, an amino acid-based medical food.

For months, the Elecare had to be fed directly into Maehlee’s stomach through a tube in her nose.

Now, she can drink the food through a bottle. But it doesn’t taste very good.

‘It tastes like cardboard. It’s the most disgusting stuff I’ve ever tasted,’ Ms Flory said.