Knoxville teen alerts first responders to rare disease

Knoxville teen alerts first responders to rare disease

Posted:
For more than a month Landon Adzima and his parents have been going from fire station to fire station delivering cupcakes and a message of awareness for Addison's disease. For more than a month Landon Adzima and his parents have been going from fire station to fire station delivering cupcakes and a message of awareness for Addison's disease.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - First responders in Knoxville are changing the way they respond to emergencies and it's all thanks to a 13-year-old boy with a rare disease.

For more than a month Landon Adzima and his parents have been going from fire station to fire station delivering cupcakes and a message of awareness for Addison's disease.

Landon was diagnosed seven years ago with Addison's disease, a rare disorder that makes his body unable to produce adrenalin.

"If I was in car accident or had a really bad broken bone, that's the time I would need [adrenalin]," explained Landon.

On Monday, Landon's 13th birthday, he received a present from the Knoxville Fire Department. Firefighters had approved the protocol to carry the potentially lifesaving medicine for people with Addison's disease.

"It's really overwhelming. In just over a month we've been able to accomplish this," gushed Lora-Joy Adzima, Landon's mother.

With the new protocol KFD and Rural/Metro paramedics will now be able to administer the medicine SoluMedrol quickly, something that gives relief to Landon's mom.

"When we call 911 they would now be able to administer that too him, whereas before they would have to call the hospital, get approval and time is ticking away," Adzima explained.

The medicine cost less than $10 a bottle and will now be in all paramedic fire trucks in the city. It's a small vial of medicine that can make a huge difference.

"We'll go around and teach all our paramedics about how to use this, how to recognize a crisis in a patient like Landon, and the things we have to do to give the medication," said Knoxville Fire Capt. Mark Wilbanks.

There are around 140,000 people like Landon in the country. A small number are in Knox County, but for Landon and his parents, knowing these trucks will now carry the medicine makes them all rest easier.

"It definitely makes me a feel a little safer now they have the protocol in place," Landon said.

Now that they have accomplished their goal in Knoxville, Landon and his family hope to spread their awareness to other counties.

"I think it makes it more real for them when they see a young man that has this and how important it is to us," Landon's mom said. "We're going to continue until every station has it."

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