"Sickle-Cell Anaemia" by Osaretin / CC BY-SA 4.0

A Young Mississippi Woman’s Journey Through A Pioneering Gene-Editing Experiment

Dec 26, 2019

By Rob Stein

When Victoria Gray was just 3 months old, her family discovered something was terribly wrong.

“My grandma was giving me a bath, and I was crying. So they took me to the emergency room to get me checked out,” Gray says. “That’s when they found out that I was having my first crisis.”

It was Gray’s first sickle cell crisis. These episodes are one of the worst things about sickle cell disease, a common and often devastating genetic blood disorder. People with the condition regularly suffer sudden, excruciating bouts of pain.

“Sometimes it feels like lightning strikes in my chest — and real sharp pains all over. And it’s a deep pain. I can’t touch it and make it better,” says Gray. “Sometimes, I will be just balled up and crying, not able to do anything for myself.

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