LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) — Gabriel Wentz is one of five children who has been diagnosed with a series of medical conditions throughout his life.
The 22-year-old is developmentally delayed, schizoaffective and autistic. He is currently undergoing a schizoaffective episode where he is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia at the same time.
According to his mother, Erin, this is Gabriel’s second manic episode and has lasted 165 days. She said he does not sleep for six or seven days at a time, experiences erratic mood swings, and will often complain of pain throughout his body. She said the hardest part is watching him suffer everyday.
“He’ll tell you, ‘My head hurts, I can’t do this anymore. What’s wrong with me?,’” Erin said.
Now, Erin is asking for the community’s help in finding resources available to her son.
“What would be ideal is someone who understands autism and then can tell the difference between his autism and what is happening now,” she said.
She said Gabriel has been medicated several times with no results and has been admitted to hospitals and eventually discharged because there are no inpatient programs available to him.
“If anybody knows any doctors that are specialized in it or any places that might be able to help us stabilize him. We’re just a bit desperate this time to find him help,” she said.
Erin said a major challenge has been Gabriel’s delay in participating in activities of daily life, like bathing himself and that’s what makes finding an inpatient program so difficult.
Gabriel’s disabilities have caused challenges for the entire family, including limited time to work and trouble with finances.
“It has cost us thousands of dollars and some weeks you have to pick whether you’re going to pay your light bill or you’re going to eat,” said Erin.
Erin said the family has applied for federal help, but has not received any assistance yet. She said finding help and an inpatient program will be significantly easier once Gabriel’s case is approved. However, she hopes to find assistance before then and can ease the pain her son is feeling.
“We’re looking for insight or for somebody that can help. Georgia needs to do better by them,” she said.