Goochland boy allergic to nearly all foods

Published: Nov. 17, 2014 at 10:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2014 at 10:37 PM EST
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GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - He's literally allergic to food – almost all of it. An 8-year-old Goochland boy has been basically reduced to surviving on formula.

Alex Mounayar has Eosinophilic Esophagitis. If you think that disease sounds hard to say, imagine living with it.. Just the exposure to the smell of steamed carrots can cause this little boy's throat to close.

Because of his Eosinophilic Esophagitis, or EE, most foods cause Alexander's throat to close. Lisa Mounayar, Alex mother, said, "You feel helpless, like your hands are tied and there's nothing you can do."

Right now, Alex can eat four foods: pork, chicken, green beans and white potatoes. Forget seasonings or dressings – any one of those could cause him to stop breathing. And there's a chance his body could eventually reject those few trustworthy foods, too. At 8 years old, Alex gets most of his nutrients from formula, but he's allergic to all of those except one.

There were times when formula was all Alex ate. "He would say to me that I'm starving him. So it was very emotional, because you want to feed your child. And that's your motherly instinct, to feed them, and you can't," Mounayar said.

The taste of the formula is one reason why Alex and many others with his condition opt for a G-tube for feeding. "We don't know how long he'll have that," Mounayar said.

Alex's sister Lynzy has a less severe version of the disease. Right now, she can't eat dairy, corn products, or nuts. In a 13-year-old girl's diet, there's not a lot left.

"I took a bite of the apple and my lips swelled up," she said.

She has to read the labels on everything she eats.

Dinner at the Mounayar home involves cooking several different meals and hoping a new allergy doesn't present itself.

For these kids, there is a long wish list of things they may never get to eat. "Cake on a birthday," Alex said. They are wishes and dreams that would break any mother's heart, hoping someone will find a cure to help her child do all of the very basic and special childhood things.

Alex is currently struggling with his treatment now, so his doctors sent him to specialists in Cincinnati last week.

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