February 23, 2012

Fugates of Kentucky: Skin Bluer than Lake Louise


Benjamin "Benjy" Stacy so frightened maternity doctors with the color of his skin -- "as Blue as Lake Louise" -- that he was rushed just hours after his birth in 1975 to University of Kentucky Medical Center. As a transfusion was being readied, the baby's grandmother suggested to doctors that he looked like the "blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek." Relatives described the boy's great-grandmother Luna Fugate as "blue all over," and "the bluest woman I ever saw."…The Fugate progeny had a genetic condition called methemoglobinemia, which was passed down through a recessive gene and blossomed through intermarriage.  "It's a fascinating story," said Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist from Minnesota's Mayo Clinic. "It also exemplifies the intersection between disease and society, and the danger of misinformation and stigmatization."

ABC News, 02/22/2012

Tags: Benjamin "Benjy" Stacy, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, Hematology, intermarriage, Lake Louise, Luna Fugate, Mayo Clinic Rochester, methemoglobinemia, recessive gene, University of Kentucky Medical Center

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