Monroe teen not expected to survive infancy celebrates 16th birthday

MONROE, Conn. (WTNH) — A Monroe teenager and his family have a lot to celebrate. When he was just two months old, Anthony Katz was diagnosed with a terminal illness. His parents were told he would not live to see his first birthday, but he turned 16 on Wednesday.

The rain did not dampen the celebratory spirit at Anthony’s “Finding Dory” themed birthday party in Monroe.

“We’re celebrating his life,” said Douglas Katz, Anthony’s dad. “He wasn’t supposed to live past his first year.”

When he was a baby, Anthony was diagnosed with x-linked myotubular myopathy, the most severe type of muscular dystrophy. Heidi Hemstock was Anthony’s nurse when he was a baby, and she attended his birthday party.

“Working in the newborn ICU unit [x-linked myotubular myopathy] is extremely rare. I think it’s just Anthony in Connecticut,” said Hemstock. “There have been some children who have not made it past one year and so he’s definitely a little miracle.”

Anthony’s birthday party brings the community together each year.

“His whole life he shows so many people happiness and love,” said Tina Katz, Anthony’s mom.

Tina Katz says her son needs care 24 -7, but he is doing well. She says Anthony was glad to see the rain, which fit nicely with the underwater theme. He’s a teenager who even when times were tough, just kept swimming.

“I believe the love and the happiness that he gets is why he’s with us, because he’s so happy,” said Tina Katz.

The Monroe Fire Department gave kids rides on fire trucks at the party. Anthony is an honorary firefighter.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s