STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The symptoms started around age six months for Joanna Tierno. As a tot, she didn’t gain weight normally and was frequently sick with recurrent infections. Severe ear infections caused her to temporarily lose her hearing.
It took more than two decades for the Midland Beach woman to be diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia, a primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD).
PIDD encompasses nearly 200 genetic disorders which feature an absent or defected immune system that leads to continuous, unusual and severe infections that often don’t respond to antibiotics.