Pleasant Hill's 'Miracle Milo' rushed to hospital during Halloween event

Pleasant Hill’s ‘Miracle Milo’ rushed to hospital during Halloween event

Milo McCormack sporting his Halloween costume that was custom built to fit his wheelchair. (Photo courtesy the McCormack family)

PLEASANT HILL, CA (Nov. 5, 2023) — Rita Naman and Daniel McCormack of Pleasant Hill had planned a special Halloween for their young son Milo last week. The 4-year-old loves all things construction, so his parents designed an excavator costume, custom-made for his wheelchair. Milo has spastic ataxia 5 (SPAX5), an ultra-rare neurodegenerative disease.

The family invited residents to join Milo’s “Dig for Cures” on Halloween. Milo’s friends and family planned to pass out candy with special stickers that tell about his journey and ask for support in the race for a cure.

Milo’s condition is one of nearly 7,000 rare diseases that require advanced research but aren’t a priority for the government or pharmaceutical companies. So in 2022, his parents launched “Miracles for Mighty Milo”.

They are working with multiple researchers, including a scientist in Italy who is testing an experimental ALS drug in mice and developing a novel gene therapy to permanently address Milo’s condition.

Unexpected crisis

However, the evening took an unexpected and heart-stopping turn when Milo suddenly fell ill during the Halloween parade. What was meant to be a day filled with joy and laughter quickly turned into a nightmare as his condition rapidly deteriorated. His grandparents, both retired physicians, were on the scene and knew that swift action was necessary.

Milo’s breathing became shallow, and he turned pale. Then his body went limp, leaving everyone in a state of panic. The family rushed Milo to the hospital.

In an Instagram post about the event, his family wrote, “The ER quickly triaged Milo and took us to a room. Since his heart rate was very high, they ran a bunch of labs and virus panels, including checking for a bacterial infection. They also noticed that Milo’s body had suddenly become very febrile, but his hands & feet were ice cold.”

Doctors promptly put Milo on IV fluids, Tylenol, and an initial dose of antibiotics while the medical team awaited the test results, a process that could take up to 36 hours.

During a rough couple of days, Milo’s fever subsided, and his heart rate normalized. Milo’s stay in the pediatric unit was extended for observation and further treatment.

Halloween do-over

Since then Milo has returned home. Despite his illness, he expressed a desire for a Halloween redo, eager to put on his costume and perhaps venture out for some belated trick-or-treating.

The family expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the support and well-wishes they received during this trying period. It was a reminder of Milo’s ongoing battle against SPAX5, a condition that can lead to severe metabolic crashes when illness strikes. They stressed the importance of raising awareness about Milo’s condition and their commitment to the “Miracles for Mighty Milo” cause.

Milo has now returned home. His parents look forward to planning a post-Halloween event at some point. They promise to share the details soon on social media.

To learn more about Milo’s condition and donate to his cause, please visit