HOWARD — It’s a been a long and trying past five months for Apple Valley resident Jeff Williamson. A diagnosis of Churg Strauss Syndrome in February was followed up with four months of hospital stays and numerous surgeries. But Williamson, 42, keeps his spirits up and head held high.
Williamson was not even aware until February that he had any disease. “It makes total sense to me now with what I’ve gone through,” said Williamson, stating that for the past number of years he has shown symptoms of stomach cramps, abdominal pain and more recently asthma. “I’ve probably had it for the past 10 years,” he said.
When his stomach cramps were getting worse, he went to Knox Community Hospital to see what his problem might be. “They thought it was an ulcer at first,” said Williamson. “But when my hands and feet became paralyzed, they thought that possibly it was something else.” A biopsy later revealed that he developed Churg Strauss Syndrome.
Churg Strauss Syndrome is a rare, systemic autoimmune disease more commonly known as vasculitis. It is a disorder marked by blood vessel inflammation which can restrict blood flow to vital organs and tissues. A variety of problems can occur with CSS, with the most common being asthma. Others can range from hay fever, rash and gastrointestinal bleeding to severe pain and numbness in the hands and feet.