A Little Girl With a Big Appetite and Even Bigger Temper


Since the story of Kayla Galo — a 4-year-old who at 105 pounds is twice the average weight for a child her age — was first posted on ABCNEWS.com Thursday, it has had enormous response from readers. You can read those comments by clicking on the "Comments" link on the right side of this page.

Many viewers and readers have concluded that Kayla has Prader-Willi Syndrome, an eating disorder often associated with behavioral problems. We wondered about that as well, but Kayla's mother, Luz Matos, tells us that Kayla has been tested for PWS and those tests were negative.

Matos wrote to ABCNEWS.com in response to viewers' comments and compassion. In it she says:

"Kayla has been tested from head to toe, from a [CT] scan of the head looking for a trigger of the pituitary gland, every blood test you can mention. [The doctors] tested her for Prader-Willi, thyroid, diabetes and anything you can imagine and all came out negative. Even her hemoglobin is OK. The last blood work was for a genetics disease and [it was] negative."

Matos signs her note on ABCNEWS.com "desperate seeking mom." You can read her full response by clicking on the "Comments" link. ABC News is trying to help connect Matos with specialists who can assist her.

Here is her story:


"No! Not that spoon!" screams 4-year-old Kayla Galo as she throws an epic tantrum at the kitchen table. "Oh my God — not like that! I don't want that there!"

What Kayla very clearly doesn't want is the bowl of soup her mother, Luz Matos, has prepared for lunch. Just shy of her fifth birthday, Kayla is 105 pounds, twice the average weight for a child her age.

"Mom, stop that! What's wrong with you?" she says forcefully, determined to have macaroni and cheese for lunch.

"I don't want any soup!" Kayla then shifts strategy and adds, "you're mad at me."

See more of Kayla's story Friday on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET

Matos has a distraught look on her face. She struggles to suppress her frustration.

"Eat it!" she says firmly, but with a tone that conveys a mother's love.

"No!" screams Kayla in a very angry voice.

"She gets what she gets," says Matos, explaining that doctors and nutritionists have counseled her to carefully control Kayla's food intake. "I'm not going to make another thing."

It is like this day and night in the Galo-Matos home here in Land O' Lakes, Fla., just north of Tampa. A constant battle of wills between a child obsessed with eating and a mother straining to cope with a behavioral problem that has defied experts.

Kayla has been overweight since she was a baby. At 18 months she began sneaking food out of the refrigerator. No one in her family has a problem with obesity, so it never occurred to Kayla's parents to limit her food intake. But by age 2 she weighed 52 pounds — twice the recommended weight.

ABC News first met Kayla a year ago when the family lived in Chicago. At that time Kayla weighed 95 pounds. Her mother had resorted to locking the refrigerator and hiding food.

Back then Matos thought she was gaining control of Kayla's ravenous appetite and her rage.

She was wrong.

At the kitchen table the standoff over the unwanted soup drags on. Kayla ups the ante, with a new series of attacks on her mother.

"I don't love you. You gave me a little bit. Stupid. Be quiet! Give me another treat or something."

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