Elkmont boy diagnosed with rare autoimmune disease

Published: Dec. 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM CST|Updated: Sep. 26, 2016 at 5:51 PM CDT
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Several doctors misdiagnosed Colton until it was discovered he had a rare autoimmune disease.
Several doctors misdiagnosed Colton until it was discovered he had a rare autoimmune disease.

ELKMONT, AL (WAFF) - Colton Burgess loves to draw and color. Up until recently he was a typical, healthy little boy. His mom Tiffany said one day, it all started with something small.

"It's been about 2 years. He was diagnosed with JDM last year on his fifth birthday. And it was about a year before that he had gotten a rash. At first I thought it was poison ivy, cause he had been outside playing," Tiffany recalled.

She said several doctors misdiagnosed the condition. And eventually there were more symptoms: the rash, weight loss, difficulty running and muscle weakness.

There are several autoimmune diseases where the sun can actually be your enemy. That includes a days when it's actually cloudy.

Later, they were referred to a pediatric rheumatologist in Birmingham. He confirmed a suspicion by Tiffany and her aunt.

"She said his rash looked an awful lot like what mine did when I was diagnosed. And she was diagnosed in her 30's and I said, 'I thought you had lupus.' She said I actually have polypomyositis/dermatomyositis."

"The doctor had him run down the hall and lay down on the exam table and he said its dermatomyocitis," added Burgess.

The doctor was testing for muscle weakness, but they also were able to test for inflammation in the body.

Colton is currently is on medications to suppress the immune system....and another to take the place of the steroids he was on.

His parents slather on the sun protection before he even leaves the house. One of many things he must do to live a normal life.

For more information on JDM and its effects on the body, click here.

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