Son not told of CJD

Son not told of CJD

May 12, 2001 Times by Elizabeth Judge
The mother of a variant CJD victim hid the truth from her son in an attempt to bolster his hopes of recovery.

Jean Babey told her son, Steve, 25, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, that he had been diagnosed with a brain virus that he would recover from. He died earlier this week.

The town is among eight communities that are being investigated as potential hotspots for the disease, which could suffer the same fate as Queniborough, the Leicestershire village where five young people died from the illness. It is believed there have already been two linked cases in Eastleigh.

Mrs Babey, 58, a support worker, said yesterday that she had been determined to keep her son's spirits up after he was diagnosed with the illness, the human form of "Mad Cow" disease, five months ago.

"We decided to tell him he had been diagnosed with a brain virus which would work its way through," she said. "We made Steve feel as if they were searching for an answer and told him things would get worse before they got better.

"The instinct to survive is strong in all of us and he really did fight very hard. It is an awful illness - hellish."

Experts are looking at any possible links between victims and GP practices.

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