Special People’s Health Section
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Health issues aren’t expected; they occur and disrupt people’s lives. Bill is just one American facing the hardships of surviving a life-threatening disease. Before the horrific start of events, Bill lived a ‘normal’ life. He left at six o’clock and arrived at eight o’clock to meet his two kids, Sarah and Zeek, both of whom were too young to be grateful for their ‘normal’ and ‘boring’ life. The routine for daily life was standard and set in stone. The most unusual events that occurred in this family were: surprise visits from relatives and the sudden plans to go eat at the nearest street shop that masked with the smell of ‘hotdogs’. Along with his ‘set in stone’ daily life, Bill was an intensive planner. Both these components together consisted of a risk-free and scheduled life. All this changed on September 13, 2014.
Slipping out of his chair, Bill unglued his eyes from his computer and felt pins in his feet. Striding from his cubicle, he waved to colleagues, hiding his sweaty face. He had a burning sensation beneath this coat on the left side of his chest, however, he didn’t act upon it. Before Bill knew it, his body collapsed to the floor, the cold marble caressing his body.
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Twenty hours later, lying in the hospital bed, Bill felt horrified by the colossal needle flowing nutrients under his skin. He glanced at his family and retraced this event. He recalled: Fainting in office and a flash of an ambulance enters his mind, panicked faces and red sirens emerge and finally he glances at the hospital bed, bringing himself to reality with the doctors approaching him. As the doctors explained Bill’s situation to him, he found himself remarkably distracted. He managed to grasp a couple words- words that only 15% of Americans hear: Autoimmune disease.
Although this is a very rare disease, its implications are numerous. Autoimmune diseases come under the category of self-destruction. Diseases where the bodies cell attack it’s own are named autoimmune. However, Bill’s case was a little rarer. A special case of Takayasu. A disease where the bodies arteries get blocked and act as a limitation for the heart to supply blood to the entire body. Not only do people suffer, the US government and the country are impacted by this disease. It costs the U.S more than a hundred billion dollars yearly, according to American Autoimmune Disease Association. Bill, like many other middle-class citizens, were not able to afford the extreme financial burdens that this disease carried.