COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- A national shortage of baby formula has parents scrambling to find supplies for their children. But for one Colorado Springs father, the shortage could eventually end up with his child in the hospital.
"The more time that passes, the closer we are to having to admit her to the hospital to feed her," Jim Ruwwe says. He has an 11-year-old daughter with special needs and a special diet.
"Her diet is very specific, what she can and can't have."
The product he needs for his daughter, Elecare Jr Hypoallergenic formula is made by the company Abbott, which is at the center of a February recall that stopped production. He can't find the formula anywhere.
Ruwwe and his wife get their daughter's formula from a medical supplier. That supplier, though, serves hospitals and as well as other customers.
They've found a substitute product that works for their daughter, but now they are running out of that, too. He says they haven't been able to get any of it for the past month, and are down to about 4 weeks' worth of formula.
UCHealth told KRDO that it currently has enough formula for its hospital patients.
"If we can't locate any product that she can tolerate, the hospitals do have product, and we would have to admit her in order for them to feed her because we can't," Ruwwe said.
Ruwwe will be the first to admit his family is far from the only one being affected by the formula shortage.
Nationwide, 40% of large retail stores are out of stock because of supply chain issues and the safety recall for Abbott.
On Wednesday, Abbott announced that it may be able to restart its plant in two weeks. But how fast production would follow, and how quickly someone like Ruwee would be able to feed his daughter remains to be seen.
He's just hoping he can help her.
"She just knows that we're taking care of her," he says.
The FDA says it is working with manufacturers to increase formula production. Abbot added from the time it restarts its plant, it will take six to eight weeks before product is available. Ruwwe hopes hospitals or suppliers can reach out and try to help people like his daughter in the meantime.