Six-year-old Bennet suffers from a very rare, incurable metabolic disease. When he eats certain foods, he starts smelling bad. But it took a while before the family knew the reason for the unusual fishy smell. Mother Malies talked about life with her son on the SWR talk show “Nachtcafé”.

From an early age, the boy’s parents noticed that something was not quite right. Already at the age of six months, when Bennet started to eat solid food, an unpleasant fishy smell made itself felt again and again. But for a long time no one had an answer to the curious phenomenon.

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It wasn’t until his aunt was studying for her final nursing exam that she found the explanation for the foul odor. But initially no doctor wanted to confirm Bennet’s metabolic disease. The family received the diagnosis only six months later: Bennet suffers from the incurable and extremely rare metabolic disease trimethylaminuria.

The smell of the six-year-old is triggered by certain metabolic processes in the body that are faulty. “A chromosome error is to blame, which is why the whole thing will not grow together in the future,” revealed Malies in an RTL interview.

The smell can be regulated by the food that Bennet eats. However, he cannot tolerate about 85 to 90 percent of all foods. Things like fish, egg, red meat, wheat, soy, legumes or cabbage are taboo.

But the six-year-old is bravely dealing with his illness. The boy’s environment also accepts him the way he is – whether smelling of fish or not.

Nevertheless, his mother would like to see greater awareness of the disease in the future. So far, about 400 cases are known worldwide.


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