Bozeman News

Dec 6, 2011 7:28 PM by Christina Lysacek

Bozeman boy with bone disorder rises above disease

Anyone who is regularly around seven-year-old Emmet Jones would say he is compassionate and extremely outgoing. No one would mention the rare type of bone disorder from which he suffers, because he does not let it slow him down.

"Most of the time Emmet is just a normal seven-year-old," said Kimberly Hartman, Emmet's mother.

Emmet is a second grader at the Bozeman Summit School who has osteogenesis imperfecta, better known as brittle bone disease. This disease, that affects about six in 100,000, is caused by a genetic mutation that results in abnormalities in collagen, which is the most abundant protein in bone.

"There are seven types, four of them are fairly common and three of them are rare. Emmet has one of the rare types," said Hartman.

This disorder causes Emmet's bones to be extremely fragile. He has already broken 10 times more bones than an average person breaks in their entire lifetime.

"I have broken 20 bones, not counting the spine compression fractures I have had," said Emmet.

"The last fracture he had was his femur. That is a pretty thick bone. He was simply walking and holding my hand and he just lost his balance and twisted his body a little. His femur just snapped and broke completely apart; that is how little it takes for Emmet to break a bone," said Hartman. "Every time he fractures, it is not just the pain, the fear, and the frustration that we have to deal with; it is the loss of skills: walking, being able to write, and having to get those back."

Emmet swims at the Eagle Mount center once a week. The pool is a place where he can build strength and one of the only places he feels completely safe

"It is really fun and it makes me feel weightless, so I don't have to worry about breaking anything," said Emmet.

At home, he doesn't use his wheelchair. Emmet said, "I only use it in public to prevent people from bumping into me and so I don't fall down and break a bone."

"Beside him being in a wheelchair, he is basically a normal kid," said Ben Stern, Emmet's classmate.

Emmet was chosen to be KBZK's weather rookie this week. You can see Emmet giving weather forecasts on Montana this Morning Wednesday.

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