Belfast Telegraph

Belfast family speak of vCJD tragedy

The family of a man who died 10 years after contracting the human form of mad cow disease have said they remain devastated by their loss.

Jonathan Simms, from Belfast, fell ill in 2001 aged 17, and his case hit the headlines when his family launched a successful legal challenge to secure access to an experimental new treatment.

Doctors later reported a slight improvement in his condition, but said the damage caused by the disease was incurable.

His father Don said his son, who required intensive medical support throughout his years of ill health, had “grown tired”.

“We are a family who are left devastated,” he said.

Jonathan’s case fuelled discussion the early use of the drug pentosan polysulphate in vCJD.

The Simms family have campaigned for improvements in the treatment of victims of the condition.

Belfast Telegraph

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