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Nov 25, 2009

Four year old with rare skin disease needs your help

25939He was born four years ago with a rare skin condition and since then the brave young boy has been fighting the odds. But Tarell Sutherland needs your help and urgently so. He is only the second person in Belize to carry this disease. His mother, Nicole McDougal, says that Tarell has a congenital skin disease that causes him to shed his skin at such a rapid rate that it leaves him constantly in pain and with skin breakage. Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting
Four year old Tarell Sutherland was born with a rare skin disorder called Ichthyosis. And the problem has created a world of challenges for him.

Dr. Peter Craig, Tarell’s physician
“Our skin has two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis, and the epidermis has a base layer of cells and these cells mature, divide and move up to the surface. Now the layer in those cells above the base, that is the problem area for Tarell. So his epidermis is compromised, it’s not functioning, it strips off.”

With help from a US military unit, Nicole McDougal has managed to land free medical treatment for her son in Louisiana in the US. All she needs now is your help to pay for airfare and accommodation while Tarell receives treatment. It is a must-have situation for the little boy who cannot do things we often take for granted, like attending school or take a bath.

Nicole McDougal, Mother of Tarell Sutherland
“When bathing him he cries that the water burns and he’s in pain after bath, he shivers, he’s cold, we always have to try and regulate back his body temperature. We are trying to get the assistance so that he can come back and be a normal child, go to school get an education. He really needs to get an education.”

But aside from the limitations, McDougal also hopes her son gets the treatment to help avert some of his suffering, which his physician, Doctor Peter Craig has been treating.

Dr. Peter Craig
“There’s a fluid overload and it puts a strain on his young developing heart. So he doesn’t have anything structurally wrong with his heart. We can take care of his skin with special medication; medications that are very expensive but will allow for his sores and his hands, which are the major problem areas right now and allow those so that he can go to school. He can put on his shoes and he can walk to school, he can hold a pen or pencil.”

Nicole McDougal
“He learn to live with his pain. There are times when he just groans, he doesn’t want the medication. He’s tired of it, he just stay there and when it pass, it pass.”

Reporting for News Five, Marion Ali.

In the spirit of the Christmas season, if you would like to help Tarell Sutherland you can call his mother, Nicole McDougal, at cell number 668 8604. She has opened an account at Atlantic Bank. The account number is 211 057 247.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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