Los Angeles Times

9-year-old boy with rare disease now has engineered skin covering 80 percent of his body

For a soccer-playing, holiday-loving boy on the brink of death from a rare inherited skin disease, doctors have accomplished a feat of genetic engineering, surgical stamina and raw nerve.

Infections arising from blisters and sores had destroyed 60 percent of his skin. Just 7 years old when he arrived at a burn unit in Bochum, Germany, the child was in excruciating pain despite round-the-clock morphine. He suffers from junctional epidermolysis bullosa, or JEB, a disorder that is generally fatal in the first few years of life. Though the

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