Internet Sensation 'Papa Smurf' Dies; Other Blue People Live On - ABC News
Paul Karason, 62, died on Monday. He shot to Internet fame when his skin turned permanently blue after self-medicating with a silver-based. The Fugates, a family that lived in the hills of Kentucky, commonly known as the " Blue Fugates" or the Blue People of Kentucky, are notable for having been carriers of a genetic trait that led to the disease methemoglobinemia, which gives sufferers blue-tinged skin. As a result, many descendants of the Fugates were born with met-H. They call him Cheddar Man. He lived more than 10, years ago, had brown hair, blue eyes and “dark to black” skin. To the surprise of many.
- Blue Fugates
- Internet Sensation 'Papa Smurf' Dies; Other Blue People Live On
The most notorious -- the Blue Fugates of Kentucky -- lived in an isolated pocket of Appalachia, passing down a recessive gene that turned their skin blue. Doctors don't see much of the rare blood disorder today. Their ancestral line began six generations earlier with a French orphan, Martin Fugate, who settled in Eastern Kentucky. Then there was Kerry Greena "blue baby" born in in Tulsa, Okla. His family was given little hope that he would live because of a malformed aorta.
But by 3 years old and several heart surgeries later, Green was being described by doctors as a "miracle child," small for his age at 23 pounds, but a "real live wire.
My lips are purple and my fingernails and toes are dark. He's got the pale look I do. A sister was put up for adoption and Green doesn't know the whereabouts of two brothers.
His mother wandered in and out of his life and he was raised by his grandparents.
Man who turned blue after taking silver for skin condition dies
People have pointed out the Fugates to me before. Other relatives, perhaps like Green's paternal relatives, scattered throughout Virginia and Arkansas.
Even today, "you almost never see a patient with it," said Dr. Ayalew Tefferia hematologist from Minnesota's Mayo Clinic.
Man who turned blue after taking silver for skin condition dies - NY Daily News
But in Green's case, his body is starved of oxygen and every organ is affected. Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin -- a form of hemoglobin -- is produced. Methemoglobin cannot effectively release oxygen.
Hemoglobin is responsible for distributing oxygen to the body and without oxygen, the heart, brain and muscles can die. Most of what is known about methemoglobinemia comes from one doctor's study of the Fugate ancestry in the early s. Madison Cawein III, a hematologist at the University of Kentucky's Lexington Medical Clinic, drew family charts and blood samples to better understand the genetic disorder. The last in the direct line of Fugates to inherit the gene was Benjamin "Benjy" Stacywhose skin at birth was "as Blue as Lake Louise," according to doctors at the time.
He now lives in Alaska, according to Facebook.
Scientists reveal 10,year-old British man had dark skin and blue eyes
Generalized argyria results from chronically swallowing or inhaling silver compounds, either for home medicinal purposes, or as a result of working with silver or silver compounds. Silver is used in some medical appliances because of its anti-microbial nature, which stems from the oligodynamic effect. Chronic ingestion or inhalation of silver preparations especially colloidal silver can lead to argyria in the skin and other organs. This is not life-threatening, but is considered by most to be cosmetically undesirable.
History[ edit ] Since at least the midth century, doctors have known that silver or silver compounds can cause some areas of the skin and other body tissues to turn grey or blue-grey.
People who work in factories that manufacture silver products can also breathe in silver or its compounds. In the past, some of these workers have become argyric. However, the level of silver in the air and the length of exposure that caused argyria in these workers is not known.
Historically, colloidal silvera liquid suspension of microscopic silver particles, was also used as an internal medication to treat a variety of diseases. In the s, they were overtaken by the use of pharmaceutical antibiotics, such as penicillin.