It’s a compelling story that has brought lots of news media attention: A famous scientist, our own ME/CFS Scientific Advisory Board director Ronald W. Davis, PhD, trying to find scientific answers to save his son from a devastating disease, myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome.
A San Francisco television news station reported Whitney Dafoe’s story of being an award-winning photographer to being tragically debilitated from a disease that has had, until recently, scant interest from the US government, doctors, and researchers. (See news story in video to the right, after the brief commercial.)
As stated in the report, Prof. Ron Davis joined our foundation to do research on the severely ill patients in hopes of finding a diagnostic biomarker and effective treatments. But in Prof. Davis’s case, it’s a race to see if he can make this progress in time to save his son. The report indicates Whitney’s life is at risk.
This may cause some to ask if ME/CFS can be fatal. Although documented cases are rare, the answer is yes: people have died from this disease. The most well-known case is Sophia Mirza, whose autopsy said she died from renal failure as a complication of chronic fatigue syndrome.
The ME/CFS community knows of others whose death can wholly or partially be attributed to ME/CFS. Most commonly, severely ill patients lose hope and can no longer endure the suffering and commit suicide. This tragedy can be stopped because the answers are in research discoveries, some already found and some coming soon.