LEBANON, Tennessee. – According to WTVF, a disease affecting one in every one million people has forever changed the life of a middle Tennessee family.
A year ago, doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center diagnosed a Lebanon father with CJD, also known as the human form of mad cow disease.
Danielle Gibson said she knew something was wrong when her husband Tony acted strangely and became very forgetful.
"I had to label the rooms in our house," Danielle said. "He would go to the grocery store and someone would call me and say," We have your husband.
Danielle brought Tony to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where after about a month of testing, a neurologist diagnosed the 32-year-old with CJD.
Dr William Schaffner, specialist in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt, said that CJD is a rare disease The brain, which usually affects about 300 people in the US every year, did not diagnose Tony Gibson, but generally said that patients could be anxious, depressed, confused, withdrawn, and unable to perform basic tasks.
"This is a very tragic disease that has no treatment," said Dr. Schaffner. "Patients fall into withdrawal and eventually into a semi-comatose state."
Danielle said the doctors initially admitted Tony He still lives, but needs 24-hour care in a Hendersonville nursing home.
"This is the most devastating thing I've ever seen," said Danielle Gibson. "I have seen many terrible things. I saw ALS, but that must be the worst.
The Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation reports that there are several types of CJD that can be obtained sporadically, genetically or after infection with infected human tissue during a medical procedure. Your illness can not be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or sexual contact.
Danielle said she did not know how Tony got CJD. The doctors told her it was rare that he was diagnosed at such a young age.
She hoped his story would help others to clear up the disease.
"People need to know and look for the symptoms," Danielle Gibson said. "We need funds for that."