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Man Put On Nine Stone In Four Weeks Due To Rare Disease

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Man Put On Nine Stone In Four Weeks Due To Rare Disease

A man put on nine stone in just four weeks due to a rare disease.

Sam Ollier, from Cheshire, UK, became seriously ill with very little warning.

The 'fit and healthy' 25-year-old's eyesight began to deteriorate last June, but medics at A&E concluded he was suffering from migraines, possibly brought on by the stress of being made redundant during the pandemic.

But a week after his second trip to A&E he had a seizure, and doctors then discovered his blood pressure was sky high, causing him to go blind in one eye.

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"I was scared," Sam said.

"I felt awful. The blood pressure had burst blood vessels in my right eye and I'm now half blind. Luckily my left eye recovered."

He almost doubled in weight. Credit: Kidney Research UK
He almost doubled in weight. Credit: Kidney Research UK

The renal team carried out a biopsy and Sam spent the next two weeks in hospital, where he was dealt the devastating news that he has crescentic IgA nephropathy - a rare auto immune disease.

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It happens when an antibody called 'immunoglobulin A' (IgA) lodges in the kidney, causing inflammation that can damage the kidney's ability to filter out toxic waste.

The treatment he then received saw him almost double in weight.

Sam said: "The steroid treatment made me blow up with 50 litres of fluid in four weeks. I was 11 stone and went to 20, my feet burst open with sores.

"I was huge and in terrible pain where I had blown up so quick."

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An emergency neck line (a tube inserted in the neck) was used to drain off fluid and bring him back down to his usual weight, and he was given chemotherapy drugs to reduce inflammation - though this treatment was stopped as it was not effective enough.

Sam remained in hospital for a month and now visits his local renal unit three times a week for four hours of dialysis - a procedure used to remove excess fluids and waste products when the kidney isn't working properly.

Dialysis was used to drain the fluid. Credit: Kidney Research UK
Dialysis was used to drain the fluid. Credit: Kidney Research UK

"I know people can have dialysis at home as an option, but I didn't want that as I wanted it to stay a separate part of my life," Sam said.

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"I don't want it to take over, don't want to wake up and see a dialysis machine."

Now Sam is waiting for a transplant and hopes his mum Tracy or dad David will be a match.

He said: "I am eating carefully with a kidney-friendly diet and feel more settled with the idea that I have kidney disease. There are good days and bad days."

Sam has been fundraising for Kidney Research UK - you can find out more about the charity here.

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You can also donate to Sam's Just Giving page here.

Featured Image Credit: Kidney Research UK

Topics: Interesting, Community, Health

Jake Massey
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