|Updated: 6/24/2008 10:48 am
||Published: 5/19/2008 9:46 pm
(TULSA, Okla.) May 19 - Tulsa's medical community is asking questions after some concerns a Green Country man may have died of mad cow disease, medically known as Variant CJD.
FOX23 first told you last month that a man was admitted to Saint John Medical Center with a mysterious illness. He died one week later.
After the story first aired, the man’s son called FOX23. It turns out his father was from Kellyville. He says his dad did die of CJD, which is often referred to as the human form of mad cow disease. And he may not be the only victim in that Creek County town.
Even though Dwight Davidson and Randy King both grew up in Kellyville, they didn’t know each other until now. They believe both their fathers contracted the same rare and devastating illness.
Both describe their fathers as tough guys and for them to get sick at all was unusual.
But one day Randy noticed his dad, Donald King, was having trouble remembering things. That's when Randy took his dad to Saint John Medical Center in Tulsa. “They ran every test known to man, just kept coming back good.”
The rapid deterioration of Donald’s mind and body baffled doctors, so they flew him to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Specialists there diagnosed Donald with something Randy had never heard of, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or CJD. “I asked what that was, and she said a cousin to mad cow disease. I was stunned and thought how could've he gotten that?”
Tulsa neurologist Doctor Rodney Myers says the disease attacks the nervous system, causing holes in the brain until it looks like a sponge, which causes devastating and fatal effects. “The person will have problems walking, with jerking of extremities and dementia.”
Dr. Myers says the disease is difficult to trace because symptoms may not show up for years. “The incubation period is so long, we could have a million people infected right now and wouldn't know it for another decade.”
But once symptoms show up, CJD is a quick killer.
Randy lost his dad just one week later. “It’s something you don't want to experience, or your loved one to experience. Definitely not.”