Jessalee Whitesides needs hard-to-find formula

One of the few things she can eat is ‘Neocate Junior Unflavored’ formula.
Jessalee Whitesides
Jessalee Whitesides(Family photo)
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 9:27 PM EDT
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DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - This is an urgent #MollysKids post…it comes from a mom in Davie County.

This Sunday, May 1, her daughter, Jessalee Whitesides, will turn four. We first met Jessalee in 2019. Hadn’t heard from her mom, Jessi, for a couple years, but she wrote this weekend “out of desperation.” That’s a direct quote. She followed that up with, “I don’t know where to turn to help my baby.”

If you remember past stories, Jessalee can only eat 10 different kinds of food that are safe for her body.

She is allergic to everything else. It’s something called Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome.

On top of that, Jessalee also lives with autism, AND has an eating disorder known as ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), which is similar to anorexia, her mom says, but without the worry of gaining weight.

“She doesn’t want to eat because she has a fear of food,” Jessi said. “She literally has a fear from all the reactions and choking episodes she has had. Along with her sensory issues with things, it’s really hard to get her nutrients.”

Before you wonder about her size, Jessi says that Jessalee also has an overgrowth syndrome called Beckwith-Weidemann Syndrome.

“She will continue to grow no matter how little she actually eats,” Jessi says. “This is not about her size. This is about survival and her needing food.”

One of the only things Jessalee can or will eat, her mom says, is “Neocate Junior Unflavored” formula.

“With the formula shortage and crisis right now, we can’t get any at all,” Jessi said. “We finished our last can over the weekend. We have tried other formulas that are safe but she is refusing them. She will literally starve herself and not take any no matter how hungry she gets. I am asking if you have any ideas or know of anyone who can help.”

Today doctors told Jessi that a feeding tube will have to be put in soon because Jessalee is refusing 99 percent of everything being offered.

“She is saying she’s scared they’ll hurt her,” Jessi said. “No matter how much either her dad, Lee, or I reassure her they are safe, she won’t take them.”

If anyone has any idea where or how to get the formula, feel free to post below in comments.

#MollysKids is a beautiful way to network together, and you never know -- one of you might know something.

If you would prefer to send a private email to the family, you can email it to me at Molly.Grantham@wbtv.com with “For Jessalee” in the subject line and I’ll forward it on to Jessi the second it comes in.

-Molly

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