Baby boy from Lincoln puzzles doctors with rare condition

By: Cole Miller

A baby boy from Lincoln is puzzling doctors with his rare condition. Now, his family is hoping a trip to Maryland will give them some kind of answer.

It's a medical mystery and in the simplest terms, little Carter Hertzel just won't grow. If doctors can't find an answer this Fall, the family may be out of options.

13-month-old Carter Hertzel loves to laugh and play with his two brothers and one sister. He was born last April, a healthy eight pound, five ounce, baby boy. But now Carter isn't growing. His parents, Angie and Mike, exhausted local resources and were referred to the Mayo Clinic.

“We were there for about a week and a half, seeing tons of specialists and still, no answer,” said Angie and Mike Hertzel. Carter's only put on seven pounds since he was born. His liver and kidneys could stop working at any time. He has fevers nearly everyday.

Angie remembers what her doctors told her, “go home and enjoy our time with him basically. If he doesn't get help or we don't figure out what's going on with him, it's grim. His prognosis is very grim.”

The family isn't giving up, in fact, they're fighting harder than ever. Carter was one of just 150 cases accepted by the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. There, he'll undergo a string of tests in one week that would normally take a year to complete.

They'll leave October first. It's the family's last chance. “He's a mystery. Everybody calls him a conundrum, such a conundrum. Everybody loves him who meets him, he's a fantastic little boy and I'm just blessed to have him. I just wish I could fix him,” said the Hertzels.

The studies Carter will receive are all paid for, but there are still other expenses with making the trip out East. To help with mounting medical bills, the family is holding a fundraiser June 10th at the Pla-Mor Ballroom from noon to 3 p. m.

If you cannot make it, a fund has been set up in Carter's name at Union Bank.