Hunt Of A Lifetime


The school nurse checked his vision and hearing and immediately called his parents so he could be taken to the emergency room.  He was admitted to Blair Batson Children's Hospital for a week and hard the doctors order numerous blood tests, MRI test and scans checking for abnormalities of his brain that could have caused vision, memory and hearing lost. 


They found swelling of the brain along with white matter, papilledema - swelling of the optic nerve.  By the end of the week the doctors diagnosed him with a genetic mitochondrial disease that can manifest itself at any time and there is no cure.  Upon his discharge from the hospital he was fitted for glasses and it monitored very closely by his neurologist and ophthalmologist.  He repeated the first grade in that as part of this disease, he experienced fatigue, frequent headaches, mode swings and by mid-morning he was exhausted.  His teachers just let him sleep most days at his desk.  He continues to struggle academically but his doctors say to let him live a normal life and experience as many things while possible.  He is on the waiting list to have a more advanced genetic test.  We have been truly blessed and take one day at a time not knowing what stressors can trigger an episode. 

Lathan has always enjoyed being outdoors. He went white-tail deer hunting for the first time this year.  He wakes up and goes to bed talking about hunting and fishing.  Lathan enjoys swimming, baseball, shooting his bow in archery shoots, watching mud-races with monster trucks.  

Lathan is 9 years old and was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder when he was 6 years old.  Lathan’s first episode started when he was doing his classwork at school.  He suddenly complained his head was hurting and could not see out of his right eye or hear.  While running relays in the gym earlier that day they had noticed he was unable to run in a straight line with the other kids.

Lathan Saxton