"PRIMETIME: MEDICAL MYSTERIES" EXAMINES RARE MEDICAL CONDITIONS
-- STRETCHY SKIN, CONSTANT MOTION SICKNESS AND REVERSED ORGANS --
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 ON ABC
This week "Primetime: Medical Mysteries" looks at some of the rarest disorders and syndromes in medicine today. From people born with their internal organs completely reversed and a man with extremely stretchy skin, to people who feel in constant motion, the program examines cases that leave scientists and doctors with unanswered questions. "Primetime: Medical Mysteries" airs WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
What if a person's whole body was reversed, with organs residing on the opposite side from where they should be? Could a body still work? Chris Cuomo reports on children who are born with their bodies backwards internally - the stomach, liver and spleen all on the wrong side. When the heart is backwards, surgery may be an option. But it's a definite risk -- do parents choose to put their children through open heart surgery, or allow them to face a life expectancy of about 40? Viewers see how agonizing the parents' choice is and what the outcome will be.
Then: Imagine people who go on a cruise or a plane trip but, upon finishing the trip, their brains never get off and they experience a constant sense of motion. John Quiqones reports on people with Disembarkment Syndrome, whose sufferers feel the world always rocking even though they are on solid ground. Two women share their experience with Quiqones on how the syndrome has dramatically affected their daily lives and how their only way to feel "normal" is to be physically moving themselves. The program looks at what causes the syndrome and whether there is a cure - can a specialized 'balance vest' or electronic socks cure them?
And: Jay Schadler looks at a bizarre genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome that leaves its patients with elastic skin, oddly flexible joints and in constant pain. Schadler interviews a man called "Garry Stretch" from England, who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the stretchiest skin. "Garry" performs for a Circus of Horrors, where he exhibits his stretchy skin. He tells Schadler about life behind the spotlight and whether he's able to lead a normal life.
The hour will also feature a real medical mystery, designed for viewer participation. This segment, entitled "You Be the Doctor," allows viewers to assess medical clues and vote online or by text message on their diagnosis. When a Llama rancher in the northeast comes down with a troubling rash on her legs, is it a rare parasite, an infectious disease or something else?
Ann Reynolds and Terence Wrong are the senior producers of "Medical Mysteries." Rudy Bednar is the executive producer.