"Her face and her fingernails were almost indigo blue," she told Trost. This close relation triggered one of the bloodlines with the highest percentages of Methemoglobinemia that was so strong, the blue skin lasted in their family for over 150 years. At that point, Benjy’s father, Alva Stacy, explained to the doctors, “My grandmother Luna on my dad’s side was a blue Fugate. Of their seven children, four were reported to be blue. The ancestral line began with a French orphan, Martin Fugate, who settled in Eastern Kentucky. His wife was murdered by chemical poisoning, but no one was ever indicted. The village of Cussy is a small village located north west of France. Blond hair percentage: 56 Blue eyes percentage: 48 Since throughout the British history there were many migrations and fluctuations of peoples on its territory, they have all left their trace in the faces of today’s people of Britain. Over 59 different items from Gifts. Doctors Begin to Study The Blue Fugates In the late 1950s, a hematologist named Martin Cawein from the University of Kentucky was fascinated by the stories of the blue Fugate family. In 1960, he decided to move near Troublesome Creek in the hopes to meet one … The area code for Cussy is 14214 (also known as code INSEE), and the Cussy zip code is 14400. The most detailed account, "Blue People of Troublesome Creek," was published in 1982 by the University of Indiana's Cathy Trost. The blue people are a common story to the Appalachians. In February 2019, 2,762 people had painted themselves blue and gathered at a regional carnival in Lauchringen, Germany, taking home the world title for “Most people dressed as Smurfs.” In France, people born today can expect to live to 82.4 years compared to an average life expectancy of 80.6 years. In 1665, the French crown ordered a group of French soldiers to reinforce New France and protect its investments there. Medical breakthrough saves girls with rare debilitating disease. Two conditions cause people to live and be (literally) blue. Cawein heard rumors about the Fugates while working at his Lexington clinic and set off "tromping around the hills looking for blue people," according to Trost's account. Now, let’s see what else we have on our list of… This was absorbed by the skin, which also took on a blue tinge. Studies in 2019 found 89% of people in Estonia and Finland were blue-eyed, with just over half of people in Ireland (57%) and half the population of Scotland sporting blue eyes. Trost writes that he eventually lost the blue tint to his skin, but as a child his lips and fingernails still got blue when he was angry or cold. I just knew that patient was going to die right there in the health department, but she wasn't a'tall alarmed. Research done into the DNA of the Irish has shown that our old understanding of where the population of Ireland originated may have been misguided. The predisposition to be born with the genetic disorder kept passing on to each new generation. Stacy is the great-great-great-great-grandson of Martin Fugate and Elizabeth Smith – but by this point, the blue people of Kentucky are just a memory. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? He wanted to settle down for a new life in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky, because the United States offered free land to people willing to settle down there. Scott speculated these people lacked the enzyme diaphorase in their red blood cells. This sounds like something out of a fairytale, or like the plot of the Smurfs cartoon. "If I carry a bad recessive gene with a rare abnormality and married, the child probably wouldn't be sick, because it's very rare to meet another person with the [same] bad gene and the most frequent cause therefore is in-breeding," Tefferi said. They lived to be in their 80s and 90s, without ever suffering from heart or liver disease. "You almost never see a patient with it today," he said. The genetic form of methemoglobinemia is caused by one of several genetic defects, according to Tefferi. See more ideas about kentucky, blue, appalachia. Most of what scientists know about the family was discovered by Cawein, the grandson of Kentucky's poet laureate, who had done pioneering research on L-dopa as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Later in 1965 he was famous for another reason. Methemoglobinemia is a condition in which the blood carries less-than-normal amounts of oxygen, making the blood appear blue. Despite having this incredibly different skin color, they were physically just as healthy as anyone else, if not better. But at levels of between 10 and 20 percent a person can develop blue skin without any other symptoms. She was a sister to one of the Fugate women.". "It's a disease that one learns about in medical school and it is infrequent enough to be on every exam in hematology.". He married a Kentuckian named Elizabeth Smith, who also carried the blue gene, so to speak. Luna married John E. Stacy and they had 13 children. The blue men are the Tuareg, a nomadic group of people in the Sahara whose traditional territories included Mali and parts of Niger, Morocco, Algeria, etc. There were no railroads and few roads outside the region, so the community remained small and isolated. Most of blue Fugates never suffered any health effects and lived into their 80s and 90s. To get the disorder, a person would have to inherit two genes -- one from each parent. Normally, people have less than about 1 percent of methemoglobin, a type of hemoglobin that is altered by being oxidized so is useless in carrying oxygen in the blood. Methemoglobinemia is a condition of elevated methemoglobin in the blood. All of the blue Fugates he tested had the enzyme deficiency, just like the Alaskans Scott had observed. Feb. 22, 2012— -- Benjamin "Benjy" Stacy so frightened maternity doctors with the color of his skin -- "as Blue as Lake Louise" -- that he was rushed just hours after his birth in 1975 to University of Kentucky Medical Center. She remembered a dark blue woman who had come to the county health department on a frigid afternoon seeking a blood test. "It like scared me to death. One of their sons, Levy, married a Ritchie girl and had eight children, one of them Luna. Their blood had accumulated so much of the blue molecule that it over-powered the red hemoglobin that normally turns skin pink in most Caucasians. Relatives described the boy's great-grandmother Luna Fugate as "blue all over," and "the bluest woman I ever saw.". There are many websites that suggest that the RH negative people come from the lost continent of Atlantis, so let’s explore this theory. Once he was in Kentucky, he met and married a red haired woman named Elizabeth Smith. He married Elizabeth Smith, who also carried the recessive gene. She told me that her family was the blue Combses who lived up on Ball Creek. Scientists say that multiple generations of inbreeding resulted in a genetic condition that caused them to be born with blue skin. He married his own aunt.) Complications may include seizures and heart arrhythmias.. Methemoglobinemia can be due to certain medications, chemicals, or food or it can be inherited from a person's parents. Not myth or legend; The Blue People of Kentucky were an isolated enclave of Appalachian people who lived with an embarrassing skin discoloration until a young hematologist took notice and found a solution. So one of Martin and Elizabeth’s sons, Zachariah, married Elizabeth’s sister (Yes, you read that correctly. At the same time, DNA testing of remains of ancient Irish people suggests that some of the earliest human arrivals on the island originally came from mu… Martin Fugate, a French orphan, married a woman named Elizabeth around 1820. Cawein and Pendergrass began to ask questions -- "Do you have any relatives who are blue?" The modern Irish population share many genetic similarities with Scottish and Welsh populations, and to a lesser extent the English. Person in Michigan wins Mega Millions' $1 billion jackpot, 2nd-largest total ever, For GOP firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert, anger and suspicion linger after Capitol riot, Several storms to move across US, hazardous weather expected coast to coast. "There was a pain not seen in lab tests," wrote Trost. At an American Heart Association clinic in the town of Hazard, Cawein found a nurse, Ruth Pendergrass, and she was willing to assist. These people who were born with blue skin were embarrassed, and even though their families accepted them, they knew that the rest of the world would not. The disorder can be inherited, as was the case with the Fugate family, or caused by exposure to certain drugs and chemicals such as anesthetic drugs like benzocaine and xylocaine. But the Fugates' story still offers a window into a medical mystery that was solved through modern genetics and the sleuth-like energy of Dr. Madison Cawein III, a hematologist at the University of Kentucky's Lexington Medical Clinic. ", 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. As coal mining arrived in Kentucky in 1912 and the Fugates moved outside of Troublesome Creek, the blue people began to disappear. Doctors don't see much of the rare blood disorder today, because mountain people have dispersed and the family gene pool is much more diverse. When both parents have the trait, their children have a 25 percent chance of getting the disorder. Even those who looked normal were carriers of the recessive gene that caused the disorder. For this reason, they did not want their picture taken, and they did not want to become the subject of medical experiments. "If you are between 1 percent and 10 percent, no one knows you have an abnormal level and this might be the case in a lot of unsuspecting patients," he said. "It also exemplifies the intersection between disease and society, and the danger of misinformation and stigmatization.". Martin and Elizabeth Fugate would go on to have seven children together, and four of them were born with blue skin. She looked like she was having a heart attack. It was real bad in her.” Benjy Stacy was the latest child born in a long line of Fugates – the blue people of Kentucky – who had lived in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky for the past 197 years. Isolation and in-breeding passed on the disorder. Most of the founders were already married, and there were not enough single people going around for every one of their children to have a partner. Their ancestral line began six generations earlier with a French orphan, Martin Fugate, who settled in Eastern Kentucky. Other relatives are scattered throughout Virginia and Arkansas. Since there was not a huge variety in the gene pool, there was a lot of inbreeding going on, with people marrying their first and second cousins. They settled in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. That Cussy comes to revere her title as “Book Woman” over her given name (which links her to the ancestral home of the Blue People in the Normandy … This meant the blue skin kept coming back every generation. French people are often portrayed wearing a navy and white striped shirt, a beret, a baguette under their arm, and a cigarette in their mouth. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, poor muscle coordination, and blue-colored skin (cyanosis). Even though they were from different countries, and the odds were probably a billion-to-one, they both carried the recessive gene for an extremely rare condition known as Methemoglobinemia. I don’t think MOST people would stink if they took a shower, say, every other day. Dr. E. M. Scott, who worked in public health at the Arctic Research Center in Anchorage, had seen a recessive genetic trait among Alaskans that turned their skin blue. We specialize in stain resistant coated tablecloths and French tea towels. There were only four other families besides the Fugates: Combes, Stacy, Ritchie, and Smith. This blocks blue coloring from surfacing in their eyes, resulting in a steely gray hue. Unbeknownst to the couple, they were coincidentally both carriers of a recessive gene (met-H) that caused methemoglobinemia, which can tint the skin of sufferers blue. Even though there is a high number of blond and blue-eyed people living in Britain today, the highest percentage of blue eyes is recorded in South East Scotlandwith 57%. The Fugate progeny had a genetic condition called methemoglobinemia, which was passed down through a recessive gene and blossomed through intermarriage. Protestors block an access to the A11 and A 28 highways near Le Mans, northwestern France, on November 18, 2018 a day after tens of thousands of people blocked roads across France … Martin Fugate came to Troublesome Creek from France in 1820 and family folklore says he was blue. Benjy's father, Alva Stacy showed Trost his family tree and remarked, "If you'll notice -- I'm kin to myself," according to Trost. The same goes for anyone with a very physical job/lifestyle, or simply pungeant body odor, in my opinion. Despite being one of the rarer pigments, some countries have high populations of blue-eyed people, particularly in Europe. Normally, Methemoglobinemia is so rare, that this condition would no longer show up in the children of the next generation. ABCNews.com was unable to determine if Benjamin Stacy is still alive -- he would be 37 today. The Fugates probably had a deficiency in the enzyme called cytochrome-b5 methemoglobin reductase, which is responsible for recessive congenital methemoglobinemia. People with gray eyes have irises that do not contain any melanin, and also extra amounts of collagen in a part of the eye called the stroma. Of their seven children, four were reported to be blue. Deep in the woods of Kentucky, a fiercely private family gave birth to blue-skinned children since the 1800s. This gave the aristocrats a pale skin which basically allowed their blood vessels to show through their skin in blue color – just like any normal pale skin human. When those levels rise to greater than 20 percent, heart abnormalities and seizures and even death can occur. Very few people knew they even existed, until today. In methemoglobinemia, the hemoglobin is unable to carry oxygen and it also makes it difficult for unaffected hemoglobin to release oxygen effectively to body tissues. "That was the pain of being blue in a world that is mostly shades of white to black. One of Martin and Elizabeth Fugate's blue boys, Zachariah, married his mother's sister. That suggested an inbred line that had been passed from generation to generation. I do have a thought for you, or thoughts. People with hazel eyes are often mistaken for having green eyes. They get their nickname from the blue robes they wear. The town of Cussy is located in the department of Calvados of the french region Basse-Normandie.The town of Cussy is located in the township of Bayeux part of the district of Bayeux. As the story goes, Martin Fugate, a French orphan, settled on the banks of eastern Kentucky's Troublesome Creek around 1820 to claim a land grant. Many other recessive gene diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, Tay Sachs and cystic fibrosis can be lethal, he said. The blue people of Troublesome Creek had methemoglobinemia, a metabolic condition affecting hemoglobin, the four-part protein that carries oxygen bound to an iron atom at each subunit’s core. Little did they know that their union would create shades o… See more ideas about kentucky, people, medical oddities. But for the members of the Fugate clan, it was all too real. It is so incredibly rare, nobody has ever seen an example of it since. The bluest of the bunch was Luna, and she lived a healthy life, bearing 13 children before she died at the age of 84. Did you ever wonder how much of this stereotype is true? There were no railroads and few roads outside the region, so the community remained small and isolated. Hemoglobin is responsible for distributing oxygen to the body and without oxygen, the heart, brain and muscles can die. He married Elizabeth Smith, who also carried the recessive gene. By the time reports appeared in the media on the disorder, the Stacy family was upset with insinuations about in-breeding that fed into stereotypes of backwoods Appalachia. French giftsLooking for meaningful gifts with a French flai As a transfusion was being readied, the baby's grandmother suggested to doctors that he looked like the "blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek." He married a red-haired American named Elizabeth Smith with a very pale complexion. Since neither parent had symptoms of methemoglobinemia, they were shocked and confused, and no one could offer an explanation. Patients' lips are purple, the skin looks blue and the blood is "chocolate colored" because it is not oxygenated, according to Tefferi. He wanted to settle down for a new life in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky, because the United States offered free land to people willing to settle down there. Green - 2% True green eyes are very rare. 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