NEWBURYPORT — The Odd Fellows of Newburyport, Quascacunquen Lodge #39, IOOF, recently offered its assistance to a Haverhill teen who suffers from a skin ailment known as epidermolysis bullosa.
Jonathon Michael Connolly has had the hereditary disease since birth. The condition causes the skin to be so fragile that it is easily injured when any pressure is applied to any part of the body, causing large, painful blisters to form.
Connolly’s mother, Whitney, has spent years doing what she can to ease her son’s pain. The blisters are easily infected and must be treated with ointments and special wound coverings until they heal. In some cases, blisters can occur internally in the mouth, stomach or other places and are very painful.
Since the disease is rare, there is not a great deal of medical help available for patients. The only treatment facility is in Cincinnati, Ohio, but patients and their families must provide their own transportation and accommodations to attend the clinic.
After learning of Jonathon’s situation, members of the Odd Fellows lodge met with the Connolly family and presented them with a $1,000 donation to fund their trip to Cincinnati. Whitney Connolly expressed her gratitude to the lodge, adding that the support was especially meaningful, given it being the Christmas season.
Anyone interested in offering assistance to the Connolly family may contact them at 83 Kenoza Ave., No. 3, Haverhill, MA 01830.