Turner Montgomery never knew that his mom was hiding a secret condition. About 22 years ago, just after he was born, his mother Debbie was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis that could eventually paralyze her.
Debbie waited to tell her children, eventually confiding in son Turner when he turned 15. Hearing that his mother might be in a wheelchair changed him.
“For 15 years of my life, I had no idea that she had a disease that binds most people to a wheelchair by the time they are 40 years old,” he said.
The Cleveland teen decided he would major in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University because he was determined to cure his mother. It was then that he began tirelessly studying his mother’s medical records.
“I am her son and no one was going to spend as much time on her case as I was,” Turner said. “I am proud to say that I am a mama’s boy.”
Turner determined that Debbie didn’t have dermatomyositis. Instead, she had a form of muscular dystrophy. Doctors agreed and re-diagnosed her. It didn’t surprise Debbie that he was able to see what doctors had originally missed.
“He is the type who will never stop searching for answers,” Debbie said.
The doting son then invented an EMG machine that measures the voltage sent from Debbie’s brain to her muscles. This will help calculate her improvement and muscular strength.
“I chose the medical field because of my mom, and because of the disease I grew up with her having,” Turner explained.
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Footage provided by WEWS Cleveland
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