SMA is a muscular disease passed on genetically to children by their parents. You can not “catch” SMA by being around someone who has it. It is a “Recessive” genetic disease, meaning that BOTH parents must carry a copy of the recessive SMA gene. There is only a 25% chance each pregnancy of the child having SMA and a 75% chance each pregnancy that the child will be healthy. One out of 40 people is a carrier of this recessive gene.
Logan has been diagnosed with SMA Type 1. Type 1 is normally diagnosed before 6 months of age. Many times, symptoms start while still in the womb. They are not able to hold up their heads, roll over, crawl, sit up without support, or walk. All of their muscles are extremely weak, with the weakest muscles being the legs, upper arms, and neck. A common cold can easily turn into pneumonia which is what usually takes the lives of these children, along with “respiratory failure” or when they no longer have the lung or chest muscles to be able to breathe on their own.
Current statistics show that the average lifespan of a child with SMA Type I, not put on permanent ventilation or “life support”, is only 8 months of age, with 80% dying by the age of one, and the majority of the rest dying by age 2. However, these statistics are not a hard and fast rule. Each child is affected so differently by SMA that they do not all follow the same path or progression. Also, as more is learned about SMA, the lifespan of a Type 1 child can be lengthened depending on the severity of the symptoms for each particular child.
To read this and more on SMA, please visit http://www.smasupport.com/laymen_version.htm
For more great information or if you or a close family/friend are going through SMA, please visit: www.fsma.org