Mum fears she may have caught deadly CJD from brain op- Sunday People Newspaper- Exclusive News- ***September 2014***

A young mum is terrified she has been given a ­deadly brain bug from a hospital scalpel, reports the Sunday People.
The knife was previously used on a patient who has now died from Creuztfeldt-Jakob disease – and there is a chance it was not ­sufficiently decontaminated.
Lorraine Walsh’s life turned into a nightmare after she underwent vital surgery six years ago to stop her brain swelling.
Her personality changed suddenly, she suffered depression and confusion and ditched plans to wed the dad of her two kids.
Now, doctors have written to tell her she is “at risk” of having a strain of CJD that kills 60 ­victims a year.
Lorraine is one of 34 patients contacted by the hospital where the male CJD sufferer went ­under the knife.
The hospital letter forbids Lorraine from donating blood, organs or tissue and says she must not even visit the dentist without warning of the risk.
Lorraine, 32, sobbed: “This feels like a death sentence.”
She faces a dilemma: to live with the uncertainty or go back under the knife so brain tissue can be extracted for testing.
Lorraine is at risk of “sporadic CJD”, a different strain to ­“variant CJD” – the human ­version of mad cow disease, which has killed 177 in Britain.
Both illnesses are incurable.
Lorraine, of west London, needed her life-saving brain op in August 2008 when she collapsed two days after a family holiday in Alicante, Spain.

Family: Lorraine Walsh, Harry and Paul on the Spain holiday 
The normally fit and healthy former shop assistant said: “The last thing I remember was going to the loo and just collapsing.
Paul, my then-partner, rushed in and I was totally out of it.
“He said I was fitting, vomiting and my eyes were in the back of my head.”
She went by ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, was transferred to the National Hospital for Neurology where she had surgery for an aneurysm two days later.
Lorraine is convinced her ­personality has changed since the operation and she now suffers from anxiety, depression, ­memory loss, confusion and impaired thinking – symptoms consistent with CJD.
She said: “Before this happened I was so happy, I loved being a mum. I used to go to all the school activities. Everything was so lovely and normal.
“My partner and I had a wonderful life, two amazing children and a beautiful home. We went on holidays. We never argued. Overnight it all changed.”
“When I woke in hospital I couldn’t sit up, I couldn’t see and one side of my face was just a big, swollen lump.
“The doctors said I was lucky to be alive but within ten days I was free to go.”
Lorraine’s weight soon plunged from nine-and-a-half stone to six. She became so weak she could ­barely speak.
She said: “After I came out of hospital I was someone else. I didn’t want to go near Paul, or even the kids.
"My family kept asking, ‘Who are you now?’”
Within a month Lorraine had called off her engagement to Paul Allen, her partner of 14 years and dad to Laura, now 14, and nine-year-old Harry.

Hug: Lorraine with her cousin Sarah after surgery 
She said: “One minute I was choosing my wedding dress.
"We were going to have a black and silver themed ceremony that Christmas. Overnight I didn’t want to know.”
Her kids went to live with Paul as, some days, Lorraine could not face getting out of bed to look after them.
She said: “I look in the mirror and I don’t know who I am any more.
"This has left me in limbo and my life is falling apart.
“I haven’t been able to work since the surgery. I must have been to the doctor more than 100 times in the last six years.
“I don’t want to leave my kids behind – I’ve already written letters to them in case the worst happens.
"Since I got this letter I’ve been on tamazepam, ­diazepam and sleeping pills.
"I haven’t been able to cope. I don’t know if I’ve got CJD, or if I’m going to get it. It’s heartbreaking not knowing.”
Two years ago Lorraine had a third child , Martin-Bleu, with an old schoolfriend but their relationship has broken down and they share custody of the tot.
She said: “When you read CJD you immediately think mad cow disease and fear the worst.
“It wasn’t made clear at all that there were different kinds of CJD or whether I could have passed it on to Martin.
"He seems to be healthy but that confusion made it worse.”
Lorraine has been offered counselling at the Prion Clinic, Britain’s top CJD centre.
Wait: Lorraine Walsh is “at risk” of having a strain of CJD that kills 60 victims a year  
The letter from University College London Hospitals NHS Trust to Lorraine on February 21 this year said: “A patient who had surgery before you in 2008 has recently been found to have a disease called Sporadic Creuzfeld-Jakob Disease.
"The instruments used during your surgery were ­decontaminated using the standard guidelines.
“Despite this there is a small risk this infection could be transmitted to the first few patients on whom the instruments were subsequently used.
"We have conducted a detailed risk assessment and tracking of the instruments, and have identified you as one of the patients.
“I can however assure you that all processes and policies were followed.”
The letter goes on to warn about telling her dentist so they can make special arrangements for the ­instruments they use.
A letter from the hospital to Lorraine’s GP on the same date said: “As the extent to which sporadic CJD is transmissible via surgical instruments is still unknown, the risk to your patient has been assessed according to national guidelines.
“These recommend we inform your patient so precautionary measures to limit potential ­further spread of CJD can be put in place.”
It added: “We have a duty to protect the public from unnecessary exposure to CJD” and says Lorraine’s medical records should be flagged as “at increased risk of CJD”.
Lorraine said: “I don’t know what the rest of my life is going to hold, how long it is going to go on. In the letter they say the risk is uncertain.
"I’m sick of everything being ‘uncertain’. You can’t live like that.
“When I got the letter my daughter and I sobbed our hearts out.
"She turned to me and said: ‘Mum I don’t want you to go into hospital again’.”
Lorraine has instructed ­lawyers to investigate a ­negligence claim.
A Trust spokesman said: “The surgical instruments were decontaminated according to NHS standard procedures.
"We would like to emphasise that the risk to patients is extremely low.”

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