2-year-old Fort Pierce boy fights mysterious illness

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CBS 12) A Fort Pierce family vacation in Orlando was cut short when their 2-year-old son became severely sick.

The Lewis family rushed their toddler, Max, to the ICU at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

He’s been there for weeks, with no end in sight.

Max has been struggling with his health his entire life, and his family has no idea why.

“I’m very scared because I haven’t had any answers for why he gets sick,” said Jillian Lewis, Max’s mother.

The mystery illness has stumped doctors since Max was born, but the doctors at Nemours Children’s Hospital are finally giving his family some hope.

Dr. Kenneth Alexander is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital said Max was born was an immune deficiency, which eventually developed pneumococcus, a type of bacterial disease, that spread to his knee and his left lung.

“This triggered an immune response kind of an abnormal inflammatory where his own body is now attacking red cells and his kidneys,” said Dr. Alexander.

The disease eventually caused Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition caused by the abnormal destruction of red blood cells.

The medicine needed for that rare disease has a price tag of $50,000.

“What’s at stake here is Max’s life, this can be a fatal process and every bit is important,” said Dr. Alexander.

Once max is better, then the doctors at Nemours Children’s Hospital will be able to see what his immune problem is. In the meantime, the family is moving from Fort Pierce to Orlando so that the doctors can continue their research to help Max live a healthy and normal life.

“I think his prognosis for a long healthy life is pretty good,” said Dr. Alexander.

“Our main focus is getting him better and hopefully coming together here as a family,” said Jillian.

On Wednesday, the family’s favorite music artist, Bezz Believe, paid a visit to Nemours Children’s Hospital.

He is sharing Max’s story on his website so that others are aware of his condition, and hopes others out there can help the Lewis family.

Article source: http://www.winknews.com/2017/07/20/2-year-old-fort-pierce-boy-fights-mysterious-illness/

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2 victims identified in Fort Pierce double homicide

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – After living in the Lincoln Park neighborhood for 25 years, Lestermarie Cox says scenes like Sunday night break her heart. 

Cox lives right across the street from Lincoln Park Regional Park – where she says hundreds gathered for food and fun that evening.

However, she says something was off. 

“Normally it’s a good event. But yesterday it’s just too many people,” she says.

At around 7:45, gunshots broke out, sending the crowd scrambling. 

Two men were shot – 30 year old Diamond Kindrick and 31 year old Tovarius Thompson.

Both men died at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. 

“It was just an unfortunate thing that happened,” Cox says. “They have had gunfire [there] before.”

Some worry there will be gunfire again. 

Police say they are stepping up patrol in the area, as the summer heat tends to raise tensions.

“The numbers typically tick upward during the summer, that is true,” says Fort Pierce police spokesman Ed Cunningham. “Whether or not this is gang related, I can’t say yet.” 

Complicating matters, Cunningham say witnesses have been slow to come forward. 

“There were a lot of people out there…we’re confident people must’ve seen something,” he says.

With that hope from police, Lestermarie has a hope of her own. 

“Love each other, embrace each other, and have faith.” 

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at (800) 273-8477.

 

 

EARLIER STORY

Two men are dead after a shooting at a park in Fort Pierce Sunday night.

Detectives said it happened just around 7:45 p.m. at Lincoln Park Regional Park at 13th Street and Avenue O.

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

“A lot of people were out here, but they haven’t come forward to us yet,” says Ed Cunningham with the Fort Pierce Police Department.

Police said the victims were Fort Pierce residents Diamond Kindrick, 30, and Torvarius Thompson, 31. Both men were transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, where both died of their injuries.

Detectives are working to determine the details of the shooting, as well as the motive and the suspects, which have been described as two black men.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at (800) 273-8477.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/2-shot-1-dead-in-fort-pierce-shooting

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Overnight fire damages home in Fort Pierce – wptv.com

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Four people are temporarily without a home after an early morning fire in Fort Pierce overnight.

The St. Lucie County Fire District says the fire started late last night and took about an hour for crews to extinguish it.

The American Red Cross is assisting the people who were displaced by the fire.

The Fire District is still investigating the cause of the fire.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/overnight-fire-damages-home-in-fort-pierce

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Customs checks out boat towed to shore in Fort Pierce

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A boat docked at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Fort Pierce was the object of intense law enforcement scrutiny Wednesday.

Witnesses describe that drugs, money and canisters of fuel where found on the boat.

Aerial shots of Chopper 5 showed what appeared to be U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers boarding the boat.

They were wearing protective gloves and were seen carefully searching the vessel.

The Coast Guard said it towed the boat to port but did not release any other information.

Seth Curphy does maintenance for Square Grouper Tiki Bar at the Fort Pierce Inlet every morning.

“This morning was little different,” Curphy said. “I saw some guys running across the field.”

He said he saw their boat tied up illegally.

“I went over there to see if they needed help,” Curphy said. “Maybe they thought the boat was broken. Went up to the boat and noticed it wasn’t broken, there was a lot of – what looked like – drugs on there.”

Soon after the Coast Guard, Fort Pierce Police and Homeland Security were all on scene.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson would only say in a statement that, “a Homeland Security Investigations-led law enforcement action was conducted with the support of state, local and federal law enforcement partners.” 

In Fort Pierce it was certainly the talk of the town on Wednesday.

“It’s just that everyone is local and everyone knows each other,” a Fort Pierce woman, who wanted to stay anonymous, said.

She said three suspicious men came into the store she works at.

“At first I didn’t think anything of it,” she said. “But they were asking how to get a taxi off of the island.”

It wasn’t until later, when police asked her if she had seen people with duffle bags, she got suspicious.

A witness said he saw 4 people onboard, but it’s unclear if they were detained.

Homeland Security called it an active investigation and said no further details could be released at this time.

 

 

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/customs-checks-out-boat-towed-to-shore-in-fort-pierce

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2 Men ID’d in Fort Pierce double shooting

After living in the Lincoln Park neighborhood for 25 years, Lestermarie Cox says scenes like Sunday night break her heart. 

Cox lives right across the street from Lincoln Park Regional Park – where she says hundreds gathered for food and fun that evening.

However, she says something was off. 

“Normally it’s a good event. But yesterday it’s just too many people,” she says.

At around 7:45, gunshots broke out, sending the crowd scrambling. 

Two men were shot – 30 year old Diamond Kindrick and 31 year old Tovarius Thompson.

Both men died at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. 

“It was just an unfortunate thing that happened,” Cox says. “They have had gunfire [there] before.”

Some worry there will be gunfire again. 

Police say they are stepping up patrol in the area, as the summer heat tends to raise tensions.

“The numbers typically tick upward during the summer, that is true,” says Fort Pierce police spokesman Ed Cunningham. “Whether or not this is gang related, I can’t say yet.” 

Complicating matters, Cunningham say witnesses have been slow to come forward. 

“There were a lot of people out there…we’re confident people must’ve seen something,” he says.

With that hope from police, Lestermarie has a hope of her own. 

“Love each other, embrace each other, and have faith.” 

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at (800) 273-8477.

 

 

EARLIER STORY

Two men are dead after a shooting at a park in Fort Pierce Sunday night.

Detectives said it happened just around 7:45 p.m. at Lincoln Park Regional Park at 13th Street and Avenue O.

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

“A lot of people were out here, but they haven’t come forward to us yet,” says Ed Cunningham with the Fort Pierce Police Department.

Police said the victims were Fort Pierce residents Diamond Kindrick, 30, and Torvarius Thompson, 31. Both men were transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, where both died of their injuries.

Detectives are working to determine the details of the shooting, as well as the motive and the suspects, which have been described as two black men.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at (800) 273-8477.

Scripps Only Content 2017

Article source: http://www.wflx.com/story/35932479/2-men-idd-in-fort-pierce-double-shooting

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‘Million Dollar Ho’ arrested in Fort Pierce for prostitution

Debra Thomes, 49, approached a Fort Pierce police officer who was sitting in an unmarked car in a parking lot at North 13th Street and Avenue D and asked if he wanted a “date,” the report said.

Article source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/latest-million-dollar-arrested-fort-pierce-for-prostitution/IcKSbUiUEJJVj9z8a67ekJ/

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2-year-old Fort Pierce boy fights mysterious illness | WINK NEWS

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CBS 12) A Fort Pierce family vacation in Orlando was cut short when their 2-year-old son became severely sick.

The Lewis family rushed their toddler, Max, to the ICU at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

He’s been there for weeks, with no end in sight.

Max has been struggling with his health his entire life, and his family has no idea why.

“I’m very scared because I haven’t had any answers for why he gets sick,” said Jillian Lewis, Max’s mother.

The mystery illness has stumped doctors since Max was born, but the doctors at Nemours Children’s Hospital are finally giving his family some hope.

Dr. Kenneth Alexander is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital said Max was born was an immune deficiency, which eventually developed pneumococcus, a type of bacterial disease, that spread to his knee and his left lung.

“This triggered an immune response kind of an abnormal inflammatory where his own body is now attacking red cells and his kidneys,” said Dr. Alexander.

The disease eventually caused Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition caused by the abnormal destruction of red blood cells.

The medicine needed for that rare disease has a price tag of $50,000.

“What’s at stake here is Max’s life, this can be a fatal process and every bit is important,” said Dr. Alexander.

Once max is better, then the doctors at Nemours Children’s Hospital will be able to see what his immune problem is. In the meantime, the family is moving from Fort Pierce to Orlando so that the doctors can continue their research to help Max live a healthy and normal life.

“I think his prognosis for a long healthy life is pretty good,” said Dr. Alexander.

“Our main focus is getting him better and hopefully coming together here as a family,” said Jillian.

On Wednesday, the family’s favorite music artist, Bezz Believe, paid a visit to Nemours Children’s Hospital.

He is sharing Max’s story on his website so that others are aware of his condition, and hopes others out there can help the Lewis family.

Article source: http://www.winknews.com/2017/07/20/2-year-old-fort-pierce-boy-fights-mysterious-illness/

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Fort Pierce family packing up large family to be closer to son with …

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A Treasure Coast family is willing to uproot their entire life to be with their little boy fighting a rare disease.

Max Lewis suffers from a rare autoimmune disease, causing countless infections in his body. As a children’s hospital in Orlando works to save him, his family is doing everything they can to be near him.

Most of Max’s short life have been a fight to survive.

“It’s traumatizing to see your child go through this sort of thing,” said Max’s mother, Jillian Lewis.

The two-year-old has been in and out of hospitals since three months old, battling infections and pneumonia. He visited several hospitals across South Florida from Joe Dimagio Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale for a spinal tap and tests, to Lawnwood Regional in Fort Pierce for hip surgery to treat an infection and pneumonia.

“It was really emotional, really difficult because we don’t have answers,” said Craig Lewis, Max’s father. “He doesn’t talk, he can’t tell us what’s wrong with him.”

Recently, the family took a trip to the Kissimmee area but it had to be cut short because Max wouldn’t eat. He also had a high fever and a sudden infection on his knee. He was rushed Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

“We’re wondering if his immune system is not up to snuff,” said Dr. Kenneth Alexander, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nemours. “Any time you’ve got a child as complicated as Max, you’ve got a lot of people involved. When Max came to us, he was critically ill. He could’ve easily died from the infections that he had.”

Dr. Alexander said Mac suffers from three problems that created a domino effect on his immune system. With a weakened system, he developed an infection from the bacteria, streptococcus pneumoniae. From there, doctors say he became diagnosed with atypical HUS. It’s a rare condition that causes the blood cells to destroy each other as they move through his body.

“Sorting out an immune problem during an immune infection is very difficult. It’s a little bit like playing chess during an earthquake, everything is moving and shaking,” said Dr. Alexander. “We he came in, we thought ‘my heavens, this is a young man that’s been in the hospital now five times. We’ve got work to do.’”

With a collapsed lung and other complications from the infection, the next step for doctors is to get him stabilized. There are kidney doctors, immunology doctors and other specialists assembled to help Max.

“We’ll begin to pick apart his immune system to see if we can identify where the problem is,” said Dr. Alexander.

But Max’s family lives and works in Fort Pierce. They’ve been making the drive to stay close to the hospital and have had to make the sudden decision to pack up the family and move to Orlando. It won’t be easy — the Lewis’ have seven young children total.

“I feel really comforted knowing that he’s getting best care possible here,” said Jillian. “We’re trying to focus on getting him better so we can be together again.”

Despite the bandages and machines, Max is still in good spirits. When WPTV visited him in Orlando Wednesday, he was happily eating lunch, watching Toy Story and playing with his stuffed animals and toy truck.

“I don’t think I would have that in me with all the pain and everything to still seem to find a smile,” said Jillian.

Right now, the only thing working to help max is a special drug called Soliris.

“Max is completely turned around. He took the medicine and within two hours he was sitting up smiling,” said Craig. “Last couple of days he’s been doing really great.”

It’s known by doctors as the most expensive drug in the world at $50,000 a dose. Luckily, the Lewis’ insurance was able to cover the first dose and the drug’s manufacturer is even donating a second dose to help Max.

“What happened to Max is kind of like dominoes,” said Dr. Alexander. “It’s as if his immune cascade got turned on and he began to self-destruct. What Soliris does is turn off that self-destructive auto-immune pathway. The problem is, it was invented for the treatment of a very rare disease and as a consequence, is very expensive.”

Dr. Alexander said the drug is saving his kidneys, preventing a possible kidney transplant and more issues in the future.

Max’s dad is now looking for work in Orlando. They hope to move as soon as next week.

“It’s very important that we stay close to this facility because they don’t want him to fall through the cracks again,” he said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of nine move their life to Orlando, with hundreds across the Treasure Coast donating and sharing on social media.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/fort-pierce-family-packing-up-large-family-to-be-closer-to-son-with-rare-disease

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LATEST: ‘Million Dollar Ho’ arrested in Fort Pierce for prostitution

Debra Thomes, 49, approached a Fort Pierce police officer who was sitting in an unmarked car in a parking lot at North 13th Street and Avenue D and asked if he wanted a “date,” the report said.

Article source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/latest-million-dollar-arrested-fort-pierce-for-prostitution/IcKSbUiUEJJVj9z8a67ekJ/

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Man accused of trying to steal Fort Pierce Police patrol car

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Fort Pierce Police arrested Aaron Rodriguez after they say he tried to steal a police patrol vehicle parked outside of the police station.

An officer was sitting in his car on July 17 when he heard the rear and front passenger side door handles making noise, according to the arrest report.

When he opened his door, the officer said he saw Rodriguez run from his vehicle toward the back of the parking lot and hide behind another vehicle.

The officer, along with a second officer, arrested Rodriguez. They found two cellphones, a portable speaker, a $20 bill, and a small pipe with marijuana residue on him, the report states.

Rodriguez is charged with attempted grand theft of a motor vehicle, possessing drug equipment and loitering. He is being held at the St. Lucie County Jail on $15,000 bond.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/man-accused-of-trying-to-steal-fort-pierce-police-patrol-car

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