A 33-year-old Tennessee father of two sets of twins has died from the human form of mad cow disease.
Tony Gibson, was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, in March 2018, and his health later rapidly declined. He died on Jan. 30, 2019.
Tony was unable to walk, talk, or communicate in his final days at an assisted living facility near the family’s home in Nashville, People reported.
A day before Tony died, his wife, Danielle Gibson, sang “Amazing Grace” to him from his hospital bedside, a Facebook video showed.
“As I started singing to him he just lit up and you could see him just shake his head like yes this is so good,” Danielle cried.
Just last year she said they were living a normal, happy life with their 4 children, two sets of twin girls, ages 11 and 2.
“Everything was perfect, he had just got a new job and he came home from work one day and said I feel like I have been hit in the head.”
Tony’s health quickly worsened over the next few days. His sense of direction suddenly vanished, so Danielle had to label the rooms in their home so he could find his way around, but he eventually could no longer read.
He began hallucinating and in the end, couldn’t eat or speak, she said.
They visited a number of doctors, she said some thought he had PTSD while others thought dementia.
But after he developed paranoia and hallucinations, his wife took him to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with CJD with only months to live.
CJD is known as the human form of mad cow disease, according to doctors at Vanderbilt.
“With this disease, it’s so aggressive, you know there is no treatment, no cure, no nothing,” she said.
CJD comes in 2 forms, according to doctors at Vanderbilt. The standard form can be genetic or sporadic and the mad cow variant can be acquired through ingestion of beef products that have been contaminated.
Danielle said her husband hadn’t traveled out of the country and she still has no idea how he contracted CJD, WJHL reported.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Gibson family.