Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah


Sonny Tsosis and his family, former residents of the Navajo Reservation near Tuba City, Ariz., will be featured in Children's Miracle Network broadcasts June 4 along with several patients of Phoenix Children's Hospital, a beneficiary of funds raised in Arizona. When Tsosis, 9, talks about the hospital, he makes it sound more like a four-star hotel. "They have a playroom, and you can eat the food there, and they give you a comfortable bed, and you can request the movies ... " It was almost a last resort when doctors flew the boy in, to save his life. The newborn was starving to death, diagnosed with an extremely rare condition - micovillus inclusion, a disease to which Navajo children seem especially susceptible. It attacks the entire intestinal tract, preventing patients from absorbing or digesting food. Sonny loses 20 percent of a child's body weight in stool every day. He makes it up with solutions packed with calories, vitamins, minerals and general nutrition during the 14 hours a day he is hooked to an IV. His hope is to return to the reservation from his home nearer the hospital, some day, but for now the family takes it a day at a time. Sonny was expected to live only five years.