This entire family was LITERALLY blue. Find out how
Benjamin "Benjy" Stacy was born in 1975 in Kentucky with a skin "as Blue as Lake Louise." He was rushed to University of Kentucky Medical Center where a transfusion was being prepared. Benjy's grandma told doctors that he looked like the "blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek." They were also told that his great-grandmother, Luna Fugate, was "blue all over," and "the bluest woman I ever saw."
It came to the fore that an entire family from isolated Appalachia was blue! Turns out the Fugates had genetic condition called methemoglobinemia which was spread around through intermarriage. It means hemoglobin is unable to carry oxygen and it also makes it difficult for unaffected hemoglobin to release oxygen effectively to body tissues. Patients' lips are purple, the skin looks blue and the blood is "chocolate colored" because it is not oxygenated.
The Fugates married other Fugate cousins and families who lived nearby, with names like Combs, Smith, Ritchie and Stacy. Benjy's father, Alva Stacy showed his family tree and remarked, "If you'll notice—I'm kin to myself!" Most of the blue Fugates never suffered any health effects and lived into their 80's and 90's.