A word of explanation about this link...
On September 29, 1972 Pete & Doris lost a son to the dreaded
Brian Brooks BENNETT was born on 2 Dec 1966 in the St. Marys Hospital, St. Marys, PA. He was a perfect baby, although the Doctor informed us immediately after his birth that he was born with a birth defect. He had a full cleft pallet on his right lip and face. We as young parents were devastated, yet determined from the very beginning to see that everything possible would be done for Brian to have the corrective surgeries that were necessary to ensure that he could and would be raised as a normal child.
Brian was about as normal as our other two children and required no special help when he began to bottle feed, although his cleft was completely open from his lip to his soft pallet, which was split into two at the back of his throat. He had his first surgery to close his lip, at the Williamsport General Hospital, when he was six months old. Everything went perfect and the operation was deemed a complete success, although we knew it was only the first of several surgeries he would need to complete the reconstruction of his face.
There would be other operations to close the cleft and in the meantime he would wear a prosthesis while he had his speech therapy to correct any speech problems that might develop. He did very well at this and for other minor surgeries to guarantee that his teeth would be correctly aligned when they began to come in and these operations all went well too. He also had surgery at four years old for a hernia repair that also was uneventful.
Brians final surgery, to close and re-construct his soft pallet was a new and innovative type of surgery, a method that his surgeon recommended and we elected to proceed with, so that he would be completely normal. The surgery was scheduled for September 29, 1972 at 8:00 a. m., also in Williamsport General Hospital where the others all had all taken place. This would be no normal operation.
As I recall it, the operation was long in duration, planned for about five hours. At about four and one half hours into the procedure, Brians body became very ridged and there was a sudden elevation in his body temperature. These incidents were the first signs, or warnings the onset of the medical syndrome, malignant hyperthermia. They went unnoticed for a period of time. His temperature reached 110 degrees and although efforts were made, nothing could be done to revive him. Brian was five years old at the time of his death. No words can convey our feelings at the loss we suffered.
Later we learned that the syndrome is inherited and known as malignant hyperthermia (MH). Of those who develop it, up to 10 percent may die. In severe cases, survivors may be left with brain damage, failed kidneys or impaired function of other major organs. We had to learn more about it for as I mentioned earlier very little was know about it at the time(1972).
The Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS) was founded in 1981 by a small group of concerned individuals with a personal interest in malignant hyperthermia (MH), together with Henry Rosenberg, MD, an anesthesiologist with extensive experience in treating MH. In 1995, MHAUS merged with the North American MH Registry. The Registry was established in 1987. The merger between MHAUS and the Registry brings together MH data in one organization and allow for greater focus on critical MH research and clinical initiatives.
MHAUS is the only association in the United States dedicated to the control of MH. Today the membership of the association numbers in the thousands and includes medical professionals from many disciplines, as well as MH-susceptible individuals and their families.
Many MHAUS members have had firsthand experience with the devastating impact of an MH episode. The mission of MHAUS is to educate medical professionals and MH susceptible individuals before MH strikes.
MHAUS is dedicated to reducing the morbidity and mortality of MH by 1) improving medical care related to MH, 2) providing support information for patients and 3) improving the scientific understanding and research related to MH.
Doris and I became dedicated members of the Association at the time of it's inception and I am still today dedicated to educating others of MH's existence by directing people to and urging them to support MHAUS. Thank you.
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