MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A Myrtle Beach woman is using social media to educate people about the rare medical condition her 2-year-old son has been living with.
Dallas Fowler's son, Jameus, was born with a rare birth defect known as Hirschsprungs disease, which prevents healthy nerve tissue from forming in his intestines and colon.
"He was born and wouldn't nurse, and wouldn't go to the bathroom, and I was telling the nurses, from about the time he was five hours old, that something was wrong," Fowler said. "They took him and did an X-ray of his abdomen. They came back into the room and their exact words were, 'We have trouble. The helicopter is on the way.'"
[endif]Jameus went through several surgeries in which two holes, or stomas, were placed on his stomach. This allows waste to drain from his intestines. Fowler said he will most likely carry the stomas, which require treatment twice a day, for the rest of his life.
[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]The treatment requires taking a 12-inch metal rod called a dialater and dialating the scar tissue in Jameus' rectum to keep it open and free of structures
Fowler said, in spite of this, her son behaves just like a normal kid.
"He runs around and he plays and we go to the beach in the summer and he swims in a pool and he goes to daycare and he throws temper tantrums like a normal 2-year-old," she said.
The mother was inspired to post the information on Facebook after a fellow customer at a local Wal-Mart made a comment when she saw Jameus' stomas and bags after they were accidently exposed as the child was being held.
Fowler's post indicated the woman was repulsed by the stomas and asked her to keep his shirt down.
"Please be kind and choose your words wisely, especially should you choose to comment about something that is none of your business," Fowler wrote in her Facebook post. "Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and my son is winning his."
Fowler said she had no idea her Facebook post would blow up the way it did when she wrote it three days ago. It's now reached over 12,000 "likes" and has been shared by nearly 9,000 people. She hopes to use this newfound support to put a stop to the stigma and help her son live a normal life.
"I just want him to know that he was really well loved and that we tried to let him live a normal life," Fowler said. "There were some hard times, but he had fun and he got to be a normal 2-year-old most of the time."
Fowler's post can be viewed in its entirety below:
A Go Fund Me page has been created to help the family with medical expenses. As of Friday evening, approximately $3,483 had been raised.