Young Boy with Rare Medical Condition Spreads Divine Mercy

13-year old Carson Kissel leads thousands in the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily despite living with a painful skin condition.

13-year old Carson Kissell
13-year old Carson Kissell (photo: EWTN/ENN)

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping most across the globe hunkered down at home, a young boy who lives with a very painful skin condition offers his suffering daily, leading the Divine Mercy Chaplet. He prays for an end to the vicious virus with an audience sometimes reaching 60,000 people.  

“I feel happy doing it. I decided I would do it for everybody that was counting on me…”

Living in Cincinnati with his parents and two brothers, 13-year-old Carson Kissell suffers from a skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa. Carson told EWTN News Nightly correspondent Colm Flynn about the condition that is extremely rare.

“What I’m missing is collagen seven,” he says. “So just imagine grass rooting into the dirt. Well, I’m missing the roots so… without the roots, the grass just falls right off.”

Carson says that with the tiniest bit of friction or the slightest rub, his skin can just come right off, leaving painful blisters and small wounds.

“They call it butterfly skin because it’s as fragile as a butterfly’s wings.”

For this reason, Carson lives most of his life wrapped in bandages. Most young kids consider bath time to be fun. For Carson, it’s the most painful part of the day.

“Worst time is at bath time because I have to get the dressings off which hurts itself. And then, getting them back on can be a process too.”

Carson says even swinging can cause friction and leave painful blisters. As most favorite childhood pastimes can prove dangerous for Carson, he laments not being able to wrestle with his brothers. Even itching a scratch can cause tremendous damage.

Despite living his life in perpetual pain, Carson is determined to lead his newfound online friends, tuning in from all over the world, in prayer. He says his strong Catholic faith is his greatest aid.

“It can be overwhelming sometimes but I pray through hard times—in bath—or when my feet are bothering me…”

Even the hardest days don’t stop him. Carson recognizes that he does not have to suffer in vain, so he offers it up. He began a video recently telling his audience that it wasn’t the greatest day.

“Today was kind of rough for me—my elbow was sore and I felt kind of tired… But I’m doing this… It’s a sacrifice. So let’s get started."

Carson's mother, Kristy, tells her son about all the messages she sees from people across the globe, commenting on his videos. So many tune in just to join him in prayer, motivated by such a strong life of faith amidst such suffering. She says being Carson's mother is a true blessing. 

“So very honored to be Carson’s parents, he is made perfectly in God’s eyes and is such a blessing. We hope his story helps more to experience God’s mercy and love.”

Carson may be 13, entering into the life of a teenager, but he offers all of us a chance to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily—and this inspirational advice:

“Keep praying. Keep your faith up and you’ll eventually make it to where everything is perfect.”

God bless you, Carson!