�PRIMETIME: MEDICAL MYSTERIES� EXAMINES RARE
GENETIC CONDITIONS AND MEDICAL CASES
This week the second installment of �Primetime: Medical Mysteries� reports on some of the strangest genetic cases known to medicine, including a man who manages to juggle a career and romance despite his uncanny resemblance to a werewolf. The hour will also feature a five-year-old girl who can only go out after dark and cannot tolerate any sunlight. Finally, a family that has a fatal genetic disease opts as a group for an unthinkable surgery to save their lives. While medical science has progressed exponentially, the series looks at cases that still leave scientists and doctors with unanswered questions when trying to explain the human body. �Medical Mysteries� airs on �Primetime,� WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
John Qui�ones reports on 23-year-old Danny Ramos Gomez of Mexico who, since birth, has had excessive hair all over his body due to a condition called hypertrichosis. As children, Danny and his brother -- who suffers from the same condition -- were exhibited in cages and gawked at. Despite his suffering and humiliation, Danny has learned to live with his unique appearance and tells Qui�ones he would never cut his hair. Today he has a girlfriend and a steady job. According to Dr. Luis Figuera, hypertrichosis results from �a gene which was functioning a long time ago in the evolution of man, when primates were becoming men. As humans evolved, certain genes that were unnecessary� were turned off.� Besides his brother, the report features other members of Danny�s extended family who also suffer from the condition. Unexpectedly, women and children seem particularly captivated by Danny and the gentle personality that emerges from such a shocking presence.
In the second report, Qui�ones meets a little girl named Kasey who also suffers from a rare genetic condition. In her case, she must remain a virtual prisoner in the house until the sun goes down. Any direct exposure to sunlight causes third degree burns all over exposed skin. When Kasey was born, she was covered in large blisters and her urine was red. It took some time before doctors were able to diagnosis the genetic condition known as Porphyria which affects fewer than 500 people worldwide. How this charming little girl and her determined parents manage is a remarkable story of optimism.
And finally, what if people didn�t need their stomachs at all? That�s what the Bradfield family has learned after having the organ removed to stop a cancer that has claimed at least two earlier generations of the clan. It started with a grandmother, who then passed the unknown deadly genes to seven of her children. But the third generation of men and women in early middle age and younger found a doctor who was able to explain the disease and name the gene that caused it. Out of 18 Bradfield cousins, 11 tested positive for the gene. Chris Cuomo reports on the family, the medical sleuthing and the courage they have shown in restoring their futures.
Also: Throughout the episode there will be clues to another real life medical mystery -- this case is designed to let the viewer find a diagnosis. These interactive segments, entitled �You Be the Doctor,� will allow viewers to assess clues and vote online for a diagnosis that initially stumped the doctors. At the end of each episode, the audience will learn if they chose the right answer.
Terence Wrong and Ann Reynolds are the senior producers of �Medical Mysteries.� Rudy Bednar is the executive producer.