Viewers nationwide watched on Sunday, August 27, as three ladies (survivors!) and their families shared stories of their tumultuous experiences with AE on the new HLN series “Something’s Killing Me.” On Monday, August 28, CNN followed the program with a feature story on the disease .
The rapid descent into illness that often occurs and the amazing recovery of these patients (generally attributed to prompt diagnosis and treatment) was shown in a dramatization. The lives of Susannah Cahalan, Emily Gavigan, and Madison Jensen were abruptly set on a new course of battling autoimmune encephalitis. AEA was honored to answer questions and help make some personal connections for the production by CNN and HLN. It is always horrifying to see formerly normal, happy, active young women change rapidly into different people as paranoia, bizarre behaviors and a loss of all sense of reality began dominating their lives. Or in the case of Madison, a sweet little girl began to suddenly exhibit tantrums, and odd behaviors that became increasingly difficult for her family and teachers to manage. It was made evident on the show that it is very hard for families to sort through and manage the confusion and behaviors of the suffering patient. Finding out what to do and where to turn in the midst of a situation such as this is quite a challenge. We at AEA want to reach individuals suffering with AE and help them to access the medical professionals who can provide the diagnosis and treatment needed. An article in the NY Post this week also featured these stories. We understand the television show will be available streaming on the internet soon.
Many thanks to Susannah, Emily and Madison and their families for their bravery on all fronts, including battling the disease and sharing with the public. We are confident that because of this production, others will reach a correct diagnosis and timely treatment. Also, a special thanks to producer Darran Foster of CNN for involving AEA and for making it possible for viewers all over the nation to better understand this terrible illness.
Post by Lynn Chapman