Tahlequah Teen With Genetic Disease Starts Life-Changing Drug
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tahlequah teenager with rickets is the first person in the state to receive a new life-changing drug. He'll go from taking dozens of pills every day to just one.
15-year-old Keaton Greenhaw juggles soccer, wrestling, and straight As at Tahlequah High School.
"I've always kind of pushed myself to push through challenges and stuff. And so I don't really want something like this to stop me from doing normal kid things," Keaton said.
The freshman and his older brother were diagnosed with a genetic disease that only one in 20,000 people have.
"We have been told by several doctors they're both medical enigmas," said Lesa Greenhaw, Keaton's mother. "They never fit the profile of anything textbook. It's always something different with them."
Keaton has rickets.
"As active as they are, they've never - I'm surprised I haven't had more ER visits," Lesa said.
It causes the body to lose phosphorus which promotes bone health. Without it, it can lead to fractures, dental problems, and like Keaton - bowed legs.
"My left leg is bowed more than my right because that's my planting foot on soccer," he said.
Until recently, Keaton took 12 pills every day.
He started getting injections of Crysvita, a drug that blocks a protein that controls the balance of phosphorus, so levels can return to normal.
Dr. Krishna Baradhi says the new drug will change Keaton's life.
"It reverses all the bone defects that the kids already have. And moreover, it promotes growth and development," said Dr. Krishna Baradhi, OU's Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic.
"I hope that my legs will get straighter, and I can continue playing sports," Keaton said.