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U of M Amplatz Children’s Hospital treats Hurler’s Syndrome in 2-year-old girl from Michigan

We here at Health Talk are big fans of good news.  If you’re the same way, let us share the story of Lauren Hood, a 2-year-old little girl from Michigan.

Last night, WCCO offered a touching look at Lauren’s experience at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital where she’s recovering from a bone marrow transplant for a very rare but very serious medical condition.

According to the WCCO report from reporter James Schugel:

“Lauren Hood came to the Twin Cities from Michigan to treat a rare, potentially deadly disorder called Hurler Syndrome. She’s missing an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars in her body. If left untreated, sugars will accumulate in her body and cause bone, cardiac and other medical issues.”

Children diagnosed with Hurler Syndrome need treatment in the form of a bone marrow transplant by around age 10 or the condition can be fatal.  Lauren arrived at Amplatz Children’s Hospital when her first transplant didn’t work.

Lauren’s doctor, University of Minnesota Physician pediatric bone marrow transplant expert Paul Orchard, M.D., an associate professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School, explained the purpose of the transplant to WCCO:

“The concept with the transplant is to eliminate the immune system’s blood producing cells…and replace them with normal, healthy blood cells,” said Orchard, who added that the healthy cells then provide patients the enzyme needed to break down complex sugars.

Doctors at Amplatz have treated more than 100 children with Hurler’s Syndrome.  For those wondering what’s next for Lauren, she will need to return to the Twin Cities for check ups, but should recover going forward.


  1. February 26, 2013 7:05 pm | Charity Smith Says:

    This is heart warming we are too from Michigan and went to U of M for the exact same thing in 2011 for our daughter Aleyah Smith who also has MPSI Hurler syndrome but with research and my gut feeling we found that Helen Devos Childrens hospital was able to give our daughter the same care as U of M did for this little one. Thank you for sharing. Our daughter was transplanted at 19 months in Grand Rapids Michigan and is now the age of 3. She has come a long way since transplant and will continue to do so with her father and I beside her the whole way.

  2. February 27, 2013 8:26 am | Justin Paquette Says:

    Charity, we’re so glad things have worked out well for your family. We hope your daughter continues to have a great outcome!

  3. March 12, 2014 9:10 pm | Malik Says:

    Urgent… friend’s son have Myocardial infarction and I haired from media that medical school in your university developed new way to treat this disease( “Stem cells” a substitute to address critical heart disease),my friend willing to safe his son and he have money to do the surgery.Please I need answer, is this new way certified yet or not?.Malik

  4. April 12, 2014 3:58 pm | Says:

    Hurler’s Syndrome is one of the many inherited disorders in which the human body lacks the enzyme referred to as alpha-L-iduronidase. This is indeed a very good news that things worked out well for this 2-year old girl and her family must have been very happy with the outcome.

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