Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 9, 2013

Benefit show for Cannonsburg boy

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — Micah DeArmon most likely had heavy metals, including lead, mercury and arsenic, in his bloodstream before he was even born.

Doctors in Texas have a plan to help the 7-year-old boy rid his internals systems of the toxins, although the path to wellness won’t be quick or easy, according to his mother, Pam. She and her husband, Joel, adopted Micah, who was born in Calcutta, India, and soon after suspected he had serious health issues.

“He was about 1 year old. We kind of knew all along that he had some health problems,” she said, explaining the child was initially diagnosed with a sensory-processing disorder similar to a form of autism. When he turned five, she said his behavior changed and more problems began to surface.

“Just some strange things started happening. He wasn’t growing,” she said, remembering a doctor from India even assured her Micah was only going to be small, like himself. The little boy also began having unusual skin reactions and could not seem to sleep, “just a lot of little things that weren’t adding up.”

After consulting with many specialists, a battery of blood tests detected substances which should not have been there.

“We expected food allergies,” his mother said, recalling the diagnosis including the “high concentrations” of lead, arsenic and mercury.

“Extremely high concentrations,” his mother said, explaining she later learned he was likely contaminated through drinking water, or possibly by contaminated seafood ingested by his mother while he was in the womb, who also lived in an area where the wells are known to be contaminated with arsenic. Micah also has a genetic abnormality which affects the way his body processes folic acid, causing problems absorbing the nutrients in the foods he is allowed to eat as part of a regimented diet.

“His body is just full of toxins, basically,” DeArmon said, explaining his problems include recurrent infections. His doctor in Texas wants to use a form of therapy called chelation, which introduces other compounds into the system to dislodge the embedded metal molecules and help flush them out, although there are perils possible from the technique, she said.

“Basically as it is pulled out of his organs and everything it could cause even worse problems,” she explained.

The family has been following a doctor-prescribed plan, and he is responding, she said.

“Since September he has gained five pounds and grown four inches,” she said with hope evident in her tone of voice before adding they go back to Texas in August for additional metal tests. In the meantime, Micah is being home-schooled, his mother said, explaining he was able to attend kindergarten at Cannonsburg Elementary but concerns about germs and other exposures caused the family to alter his education plan.

Saxophonist and bandleader Jeff Carter of Ashland said he organized a Friday evening concert featuring music from the Great American Songbook after talking to friends who are also friends of the DeArmon family, hoping to help offset their travel and medical expenses.

“I'm taking something that is a part of my life, something that is so much a part of me that I can sometimes simply overlook the value it has, and turn it into something that can really make a difference in someone's life,” Carter said. “Many times, people think to really make a difference, to really make a change, you must change yourself. Most of the time you simply need to find value in yourself and find a way to use your abilities to make the world a better place.”  

 The Jeff Carter Quintet, made up of Carter along with Spencer Bolt on piano, bassist Chris Justice, guitarist Michael Moore, and drums/percussion by Dave Knipp and Shonte Revely, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. for a benefit on behalf of Micah DeArmon at Gateway Church (old AEP building across from library), 1701 Central Ave.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at

tpreston@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2651.