LOCAL NEWS

Unique Screening Detects Rare Disorder In First Utah Baby

Dec 30, 2020, 8:58 PM | Updated: 10:20 pm

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – History is being made in Utah as the state’s newborn screening lab has identified the very first baby with a disorder called GAMT. As a result, the baby boy can be treated now so he can live a healthy and normal life. 

Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) is a deficiency that affects the body’s ability to produce creatine. It can cause severe neurological problems including intellectual disability, limited speech development and seizures. 

“Lots of gratitude in our hearts,” said Becky Tribe, mother of baby Woodward.

Becky and her husband Stew said it was a miracle that their baby was diagnosed because they just recently moved from Los Angeles. 

“Didn’t plan on having Woodward here [in Utah]. The fact that he was born here and that Utah is one of the only states that screens for GAMT, it’s just like the stars aligned perfectly and then they aligned again,” said Stew. 

“With treatment, he should be able to live a pretty normal life,” said Becky.

The newborn screening for GAMT in Utah has a lot to do with Heidi Wallis who has fought to have this screening done in all states.

Wallis has two children with the disorder. Her daughter, Sam, 17, was not diagnosed until she was five years old.

She said it’s been a long and difficult road, dealing with a variety of physical limitations and seizures.

“She was a beautiful little baby girl and she seemed typical for me as a first-time mom,” said Wallis. “The longer this is untreated, the more severe it is.”

But her 9-year-old son Louis, who was diagnosed early on, has had a normal and healthy life, by taking creatine four times a day.

The newborn screening lab in Taylorsville tests every baby born in Utah for 42 types of infections. 

Dr. Andy Rohrwasser, director of the laboratory, said finding GAMT early on in little Woodward was worth all the work.

“It’s incredibly exciting and rewarding,” said Dr. Rohrwasser. “We made a huge impact on that little boy because that little boy is now treated with the best care and will not suffer these symptoms.”

Utah, New York, and Michigan are the only states that screen for GAMT. 

Heidi said she wants to add more.

“The instrument needed for this test and the sample needed for this test is already happening in every state. They use the right equipment,” she said. “They just need to add this one value and look for GAMT.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

FILE...
Michael Houck

Utah juvenile services staff member arrested for sexually abusing housed juvenile

A man who worked in a Utah juvenile services facility was arrested for frequently sexually abusing one of the facility's juveniles.
15 hours ago
a motorhome is on its side in the middle of a wet freeway...
Brooke Williams

Motorhome rollover blocks SB I-15 in Farmington

A motorhome blocked the interstate when it rolled over on its side.
15 hours ago
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office and Jail in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (...
Brooke Williams

Heber man surrendered with firearm after hours-long SWAT barricade

A man in Heber City was barricaded by SWAT and police officers after he made threats while intoxicated, intending bodily harm with a firearm.
15 hours ago
Students at Juan Diego Catholic School (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Private schools celebrate state funding, expect ‘significant uptick in enrollment’

Utah’s private schools are celebrating that they’ll receive state funding for the first time through a new school choice program.
2 days ago
The crashed truck. (Utah Highway Patrol)...
Michael Houck

Passenger dead after attempting to move crashed truck on SR-89

A passenger was fatally hit by a trailer after a car crashed into it Friday night, according to Utah Highway Patrol
2 days ago
One the of climbers in the training camp climbing a wall. (KSL-TV's Alex Cabrero)...
Alex Cabrero

USA Climbing Camp for Paris 2024 begins in Salt Lake City

As the Summer 2024 Olympic Games draws closer, those athletes looking to participate begin their training. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Unique Screening Detects Rare Disorder In First Utah Baby