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Imagine a family whose skin is different shades of blue? No, this isn’t some basis for a science fiction move but an actual family who live in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky.
Blue Family Result of Met H Gene
The family known as the Fugate had lived in the area for generations dating all the way back to the 19th century when a French orphan by the name of Martin Fugate settled in this area of Kentucky. Apparently, he was born with blue skin but had no way of tracing his background because he had no family. Eventually, he met and fell in love with a red-haired girl with a pale complexion by the name of Elizabeth Smith. The couple married and started a family; this is when the odd occurrence that stunned the medical community happened, the couple would have four of their eight children were born with blue skin just like their father.
But as odd or funny as this all may seem, turns out it’s no laughing matter. The reason members of the Fugate family and its patriarch Martin Fugate had blue skin was because they had as methemoglobinemia or as it was more commonly known Met H. This condition occurs when a person fails to carry oxygen to the blood properly. Sort of like when a person is suffocating or suffering from hypothermia their skin pigment starts to turn blue. But in those with Met H. It is a genetic condition which can be carried from parent and passed on to the child. Also, because the Fugate’s lived in such an isolated area of Kentucky at that time, they would intermarry with a neighboring family. This went on for generations and generations more blue children were born into this family carrying the Met H. Gene.
Fortunately for the family as the years went by the population in the area started to grow and more individuals moved into the area. At that point, inbreeding was no longer necessary and as time went on children within the family were no longer born with blue skin. That doesn’t mean that Met H gene was no longer present in the family tree and it wasn’t a possibility since after all these were descendants of Martin Fugate, a man with no past but with apparent blue skin.