Soon, Jamus Hovseth will eat breakfast without getting sick, have lunch without throwing a temper tantrum, and enjoy an afternoon snack without throwing up.
The 3-year-old Omaha boy suffers from a rare condition in which essentially all food makes him sick, and last year, the company Nutricia stopped production of the only formula Jamus could tolerate.
Nutricia decided this week to reintroduce the old formula, called Neocate Junior, exclusively for families in Jamus’s situation. Officials called Jamus’s mom, Robyn Hovseth, Tuesday to break the news.
“We went downstairs and had a little dance party with the boys,” Hovseth said.
At 16 months old, Jamus was diagnosed with the rare food allergy food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome.
FPIES affects the gastrointestinal tract. Its symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Most children outgrow FPIES by age 3. Others take longer.
The family shared their story publicly last fall, as they approached the end of their formula supply and struggled to find an alternative Jamus could stomach.
His mom created a Facebook page called Fight for Jamus. In January, she started an online petition directed to Nutricia, and within a few weeks, more than 2,000 people signed it.
Their friends and family called, emailed and wrote letters to Nutricia on his behalf. People reached out to senators and congressmen. They contacted major allergy groups, too, who started working with the company to reintroduce the formula.
Meanwhile, strangers with the old formula in their pantries reached out to the Hovseths to sell their stock or donate it to Jamus for free.
Nutricia is willing to work with families when other formulas do not work. So, in Jamus’s case, the company will manufacture the discontinued formula and give it to his doctor to make sure he can tolerate it.
The formula will not be commercially available. Jamus will test it in three months.
“We are very hopeful that it is successful for him,” a Nutricia spokesperson said in a statement.