At just four days old, a baby in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has become the youngest person to receive a cutting-edge life-saving treatment — one of the most expensive in the world.
Lexa Dennis was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in the womb. Her older brother Axel also has the genetic condition, and her parents knew there was a 25% chance Lexa would too. SMA is a degenerative disease that happens when a specific gene that makes a protein for motor nerve cells is missing. Without the gene to make the protein, motor nerve cells start to die. When that happens, bodily functions like eating, breathing, and moving can become difficult or impossible.