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Problem Solvers help Richmond mom find formula for her son with Down syndrome

Posted at 4:24 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 18:32:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The ongoing infant formula shortage in the United States has impacted children who don't even take the recalled Abbott Nutrition formula.

Alison Parham's three-year-old son Karson has feeding issues.

"He has choking issues, swallowing issues, he's had aspiration issues," Parham said.

While most babies move on to solids by the age of one, Karson, who lives with Downs syndrome, could not.

Alison and Karson Parham 01.png

"There is a whole entire list of things he cannot consume," Parham said.

Karson relies on Puramino Junior formula for nutrition. Now his mom cannot find it on store shelves.

She had one-and-a-half cans left heading into the past weekend.

"I went online, and I found one can for $246, but I couldn't afford that," Parham said.

Parham gets her son's specialty formula through a medical supply company.

While Puramino was not recalled, it has been out of stock for months because a similar type of formula that Abbott made was recalled.

Families who used that recalled formula started getting Puramino instead.

Alison and Karson Parham 03.png

"I'm very upset," Parham said.

Karson's food allergies mean the alternative formulas being suggested to Parham, like Alfamino Junior and Neocate, won't work for Karson.

"Karson is hungry. I just don't know where to get such a valuable supply of formula for him," Parham said.

Parham said she spends much of her time praying, crying, and calling his pediatrician in a panic worried about when the formula shortage will improve.

"There had to be some indication this was going to come down the line. There should have been something put in place where we didn't have to look at our kids and watch them be hungry," Parham said.

In the meantime, she said she will continue to follow social media pages recently set up to help moms find formulas from other moms in the hopes that someone will have exactly what she needs.

"You never think as a mom the one thing you're supposed to be able to do, which is feed your child, is something you're not able to do, and he's hungry," Parham said.

After her interview, CBS 6 Problem Solver Melissa Hipolit was able to connect Alison Parham with a mom on the RVA Formula Exchange Facebook page who had some extra cans of Puramino Junior.

Parham said she is so thankful for the donation, and she gave the mom her son's old pack 'n play for her little one as an act of appreciation.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.