Friday, July 31, 2009

My daughter Lisa Marie Bates died needlessly of Addison's disease

By: Gladys Bates

My daughter Lisa Marie Bates died in 1986 of Addison's disease.  She was misdiagnosed with vitilago a skin disorder, so doctors missed entirely that she had an auto-immune disease that attacks the adrenal gland.  One simple blood test to check her TSH level would have saved her life.  Lisa was only ten years old at the time.

The problem with Addison's disease is that only 1 out of 100,000 people get this.  Lisa's symptoms were classic, vitilago which are white spots, darkened pigment, and flu like symptoms.  Even in this day and age doctors can miss a case of Addison's.

Did you know that President Kennedy had this disease?  I have told hundreds of people about Lisa dying of this disease and hope to send this message out to the whole world for my daughter.

If you do happen to get a rare disease you are at a higher chance of not being diagnosed as doctors tend to look for more common reasons for you being sick.  If I had known about a pigment disorder (darkened pigment) or even vitilago (white spots) being associated with a disease that would have stolen my daughter's life I surely would have demanded that her doctors test her for Addison's.

She kept being diagnosed with flu's and they said don't worry its just a cosmetic problem that would not effect her health.  One of the best children's hospitals in the world missed Lisa's disease.  This should signal to you how easy it is for doctors to miss a case of Addisons.

This disease was diagnosed over one hundred years ago by a Doctor Addison.  Hopefully people reading this article will remember some of these symptoms as anyone, any age, at any time can get this disease.  I would just urge anyone in medical school to pay attention and who knows it could save a life one day.

Lisa's story saved a former co-worker's daughter.  There is a one in a trillion change of that happening.  I call that a miracle.  I hope this story saves more people, maybe yourself or someone you love.