The man whose parents' battle to save him from a nerve disease was told in the movie "Lorenzo's Oil" died Friday at his home in Virginia, having lived more than 20 years longer than doctors predicted.
Lorenzo Odone, who doctors said would die in childhood, died one day after his 30th birthday, said his father, Augusto Odone.
Lorenzo Odone had come down with aspiration pneumonia recently after getting food stuck in his lungs, his father said. He began bleeding heavily, and before an ambulance reached their home, his son was dead, Odone said.
"He could not see or communicate, but he was still with us," Odone said Friday. "He did not suffer. ... That's the important thing."
Odone was found at age 6 to have adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD. His doctors told his parents that the disease, brought about by a genetic mutation that causes the neurological system to break down, would lead to death in two years.
The disease leads to the accumulation of substances called very long chain fatty acids in cells, damaging the material that coats nerve fibers in the brain.