Mom fights physical, emotional & financial struggles to keep critically ill son alive

Photo from KPLC

POSTED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 9:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 9:04am

Four years ago little Maximus Berwick of DeQuincy, Louisiana was just a baby, and his mom Laci was desperately trying to keep him alive.

"His first 10 weeks of life included over 100 blood transfusions, seven surgeries and numerous moments in which they told us 'We don't know if he's going to make it through the night,'" she said.

Laci walked down that dark road before. Her baby girl Audrey died in the hospital 12 years ago.

"Watching it happen once is horrible," she said. "Watching it happen again is the most heart-breaking thing ... not just for me, for our entire family."

The Berwicks never found out what took Audrey's life, but once they got Max's diagnosis, they were sure it was the same thing -- methlymalonic acidemia.

"His body does not make a chemical called CoA mutase in his kidney and his liver," Laci said. "What that does is it makes his body unable to break down four specific amino acids."

Because Max's body cannot break down those amino acids, they turn into methylmalonic acids that build up in his body, poisoning the tissue in his organs.

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