Saturday, January 30, 2010

Professor Wessely: She died from “acute renal failure as a result of chronic fatigue syndrome

Criona Wilson with a picture of Sophia, who died of ME aged 32
Steve Bird, The Times
January 30, 2010


As Criona Wilson knelt beside her dying daughter’s bedside, she promised her that her death would not be in vain. Before the frail body of 32-year-old Sophia finally succumbed to the medical complications and ravages of ME, she replied in a whisper: “Then it’s all worth it.”

In the years that followed, Mrs Wilson, 66, a former midwife, dedicated her life to proving that her daughter’s condition was not a figment of imagination, nor one that merited her youngest child’s incarceration in a mental hospital.

Her battle saw her take on the medical profession and accepted thinking about the diagnosis and treatment of ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Eventually, in 2006, a coroner ruled that Sophia’s death was the result of myalgic encephalomyelitis — the first such ruling at an English inquest.

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Her daughter, Sophia Mirza, was a talented and popular arts graduate living with her mother in Brighton in 1999 when she contracted ME at the age of 25. She became confined to her bedroom and, just as Miss Gilderdale had, needed round-the-clock care.

In 2003 she was visited by a psychiatrist, even though Miss Mirza complained only of physical discomfort. The psychiatrist told her that she was making up her symptoms and if she continued to pretend to be ill he would section her under the Mental Health Act. Mrs Wilson said: “I knew my daughter. There was no way she was mentally ill or pretending.”

When the dread knock on her door finally came in 2003, there was little she could do. A policeman forced the door open and the psychiatrist and a social worker locked themselves into Miss Mirza’s room to prepare her for her trip to a psychiatric ward.

Her condition took a dramatic turn for the worse. After 13 days she was released and taken back to the care of her mother. “That spell in a mental hospital set her back terribly. We lost all faith in medical professionals. We were alone,” said Mrs Wilson.

In 2005 Miss Mirza could barely muster the energy to speak, eat or drink. She and her mother had already agreed that no doctors should be called in case she would be sectioned again. On November 25, 2005, Miss Mirza died in her bed at home.

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At the inquest the next year a neuropathologist told the court that Miss Mirza’s spinal cord was inflamed and three quarters of her sensory cells had abnormalities.

It was, the court heard, a clear physical manifestation of ME
.

The coroner ruled that she had died from “acute renal failures as a result of chronic fatigue syndrome”.

4 comments:

janet said...

Sophia and Llyn deserved beter, Wessely should hang his head in shame.

Anonymous said...

An illness that’s dogged by lies, myths and prejudices"

great article (except that I think an immunologist would be far more useful than a psychologist)

[url]http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/features/jamesconnell/4888073.An_illness_that___s_dogged_by_lies__myths_and_prejudices

Anonymous said...

The atrocities committed against very sick people...just sickening

Anonymous said...

The atrocities committed against very sick people...just sickening

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