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Rare Disease EOH

Rare Disease EOH

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A Kenmare man who has a rare disease says he is very fortunate. He is thankful for the doctor at Trinity Health who diagnosed his disease, and made sure he got the correct treatment. Carla Burbidge reports in this week's Eye on Health.

Ron McNeiley of Kenmare was experiencing asthma -like symptoms, sinus issues, and pain in his lungs when he came to see lung specialist Dr. Jeffrey Verhey at Trinity Health. At first he was treated for asthma, but the problems didn't go away. Dr. Verhey and his nurse reactionary Heidi Bender, realized something else was wrong. They discovered Ron had a very uncommon disease called Churg Strauss.

Dr. Verhey "in Churg Strauss there is an inflammation of blood vessels, it goes beyond asthma"

The syndrome was discovered in 1951, and if not treated, there can be injury not only to the lungs but several organs. Ron is being treated, and doing much better, although he still gets shortness of breath from time to time.

Ron McNeily, "it was fatal in 1951, now there's a good survival rate"

Statistics say that only 2 to 5 people out of every million people in the U-S have Churg Strauss. Ron says Dr. Verhey sent him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for some medical attention, and they were impressed with the diagnosis in Minot.

Ron "we have two of the best doctors right here in Minot, I am pretty fortunate"

Dr. Verhey "if you have asthma conditions that persist, encourage your doctors to think outside the box, it is easy to diagnose, if you look for it"

It's been two years since Ron was first diagnosed and he comes back every few weeks to be monitored by Dr. Verhey. Ron knows he is quite fortunate to have such a good health care team. For Eye on Health I'm Carla Burbidge

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