Since last fall, Jamus Hovseth has undergone five food trials, all of them unsuccessful.
The 3-year-old has a rare food allergy, making him allergic to essentially all food. With no safe foods that he can tolerate, his only source of nutrition was a hypoallergenic formula, Neocate Junior.
When Nutricia, the manufacturer of Neocate Junior, stopped producing the formula last year, Jamus had to test similar formulas.
The formula trials caused Jamus to complain of pain, vomiting, changes in bowel movements and blood in the tube his formula is administered through.
But last week, the company called Jamus’ mother, Robyn Hovseth, to tell her they would attempt to start making her son’s safe formula again.
“I was in shock until I hung up the phone and told my husband that they were going to do it,” Hovseth said. “We’re still very, very nervous because it has to be exactly correct. It’s a little bit of hope.”
To celebrate the news from Nutricia, Hovseth said the family had a dance party. While she’s excited by the news, she’s also cautious.
“It’s hard,” she said. “You want to be really, really excited, but the reality, especially after everything we’ve been through, is that it has to be a pretty exact match.”
In three months, Jamus will test the formula.
Right now, Hovseth said Nutricia is making the old formula just for them, but they are willing to work with other families in the same situation.
Hovseth started a Facebook page, Fight for Jamus, that documented their progress through the trials. In January, she started a petition directed to Nutricia to bring back the old formula. In a matter of weeks, the petition had more than 2,000 signatures.
Friends and family sent letters to Nutricia, in addition to reaching out to senators and congressmen.
Hovseth had also been working directly with the company.
“I think they just realized that nothing else was going to work,” she said.
Since the formula changed, the Hovseths have received support from the community, including the donation of old formula from strangers.
Jamus’ father, Shawn, and his grandmother, Robin, are both long-time employees of the City of Papillion. The city’s Personnel Committee hosted a fundraiser for the family in November. The event raised more than $19,600 for the family. Additional contributions were made after the event, making the total more than $31,000.
“The support from everybody—people that we don’t know, our family, our friends—its just been awe-inspiring,” Hovseth said. “It’s been amazing. It definitely proves there are very good people out there.”