NAB Technology intern Megan Dudley-Bateman admits that her metabolic disorder galactosemia sounds like something from outer space.
“It’s like I’m a Galaxy Girl,” she said.
Galactosemia is a rare condition that affects the body’s ability to convert galactose to glucose. For infants not treated promptly with a low-galactose diet, life-threatening complications can appear only days after birth.
In Megan’s case, she was lucky to make it through her first night.
“At the time of my birth in 1990, there was a lot of uncertainty about what was wrong with me,” she said. “My file at the Royal Children’s was almost large enough to accommodate all of the back-catalogue of Encyclopedia Britannica!”
Symptoms of galactosemia can include jaundice and feeding difficulty for infants, and thereafter a lack of energy, liver damage, delayed development and early loss of ovary function.