Remains of woman with rare genetic condition donated to Mütter Museum

Mark Abrams
May 02, 2018 - 7:30 pm
Frederick Kaplan and his patient Carol Orzel

University of Pennsylvania


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A longtime resident of Inglis House — who lived for several years with an extremely rare disease that turns human tissue into bone — has donated her remains to medical research.

At a memorial service for 59-year-old Carol Orzel Wednesday in Inglis House's Founder's Hall, it was announced that her remains will be donated to the Mütter Museum, where medical researchers study unusual conditions.

Frederick Kaplan, chief of Molecular Orthopaedic Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, treated Orzel for more than 30 years.

"I was tremendously inspired by her resilience and her ability to overcome the disability she had," he said.

Robert Hicks, director of the Mütter Museum, said Orzel's skeletal remains will be put on display by the end of the year, along with an exhibit about her life coping with the disease.

"Skeletons are as individual as the people we are," he said. "[Visitors] will see that there's a story here. And when they meet Carol and find out what a vibrant person she was, they'll be enchanted."