LIFE

Girl Who Feels No Pain Can’t See The One Doctor Who Can Help Her So State Senate Changes Law

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

Colorado girl Gracie Hoyt is one of 50 people in the world with a rare condition that renders her unable to feel pain.

As you might imagine, it was a long journey just getting Gracie diagnosed, never mind finding a doctor who could treat her.

“A lot of people, when they hear Gracie can’t feel pain, they think, ‘Oh, it’s a superpower,’ and I’d like to say, ‘No, it is not a super power. It is a curse,’” her mother Susan Hoyt told KCNC.

Things got worse when Gracie was 7 years 0ld and her doctor switched hospitals. The doctor signed a noncompete contract that prevented her from seeing former patients for two years.

That meant Gracie wasn’t allowed to see the one person who could help her.

“We’ve got this kid with a very complex medical condition and what are we supposed to do now?” Susan said.

Fortunately, State Senator Rachel Zenzinger of Jefferson County introduced legislation that would allow doctors with noncompetes to stay with patients who have rare disorders.

“We actually have a covenant not to compete in our state statute which seems kind of ridiculous,” State Senator Zenzinger said.

The legislation is being named “Gracie’s Bill,” and while it will directly affect her, it will help so many others too.

“It just made sense that, for people with these rare diseases, they already have difficulty finding the appropriate care that they need and they needed a champion,” she said.

Susan said that, despite her daughter’s inability to feel pain not exactly being a blessing, her daughter is still very much a superhero.

“Gracie is this little superhero of love… Anyone who meets this little girl falls in love with her. I call her ‘Amazing Gracie,’ which she doesn’t like, but she is amazing.”

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Footage and photos provided by KCNC Denver

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