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Anorak | RIP Jonathan Simms: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Was All Too Real

RIP Jonathan Simms: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Was All Too Real

by | 11th, March 2011

RIP Jonathan Simms. Yesterday he was buried in north Belfast. In May 2001, aged 17, Simms exhibited the first symptoms of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) — caused by eating infected beef products. He was given months to live. His parents fought for their son’s life. For ten years.

Thanks to their efforts he was treated with an anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning compound Pentosan Polysulphate. It had only been tested on animals. The drugs were injected directly into his brain. A tragedy became a scientific wonder.

But this is about the person.

vCJD was a disease that arrived with a thunder crack. The media were all over mad cow disease. And then it went away, only popping up as a stand-up comic’s joke about your mother-in-law and in discussions on the British meat industry.

But for the victims and their loved ones vCJD is all too real. As Jonathan’s father Don Simms says:

“There is still a social stigma. People have to realise that there is a human being at the end of this man-made disease.”





Posted: 11th, March 2011 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink