Wis. Girl Benefits From Controversial Medical Treatment

A Muscoda, Wis., girl is receiving a controversial treatment for a rare neurological disease, and the results of the treatment appear positive.

Grace Kenitz was diagnosed with mitochondrial cytochrome c reductase when she was almost 2. The disease, which starves brain cells of oxygen, has only five known cases in the world. For the first three years of her life, Grace lived in a vegetative state.

According to Grace’s mother, Shannon Kenitz, a doctor at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison referred to the family to the Ocean Hyperbaric Neurological Center in Florida, where Grace has been receiving hyperbaric oxygen treatment for 15 months.

For the first time in her life, Grace, now 4, is crawling and talking.

“Grace no longer has a feeding tube, she’s 40 pounds, she eats table foods now, she’s learned how to chew, she can say ‘mama,'” Kenitz said.

A team of 12 doctors is helping Grace learn to walk. She’s been working in a Thera suit that helps to strengthen her muscles.

Doctors believe that with more intense treats that Grace could live a normal life.

“I can’t wait to see her get an invitation to a birthday party or ask her to come over and play at thier house, just the simple things that people take for granted,” Kenitzsaid.