Man, 20, who thought he had common cold is diagnosed with lung-damaging disease he will battle for life
David was misdiagnosed with flu,
pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis



15:06 GMT, 11 April 2012

Early symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis are similar to the common cold

Early symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis are similar to the common cold

A young man who thought he had a common cold had in fact contracted a rare and incurable disease and now has just a 20 per cent chance of living beyond the age of thirty.

David Tyzak, 20, from Barnstaple, Devon, contracted Wegener’s granulomatosis in December.

It is an autoimmune disease where the body's own immune system turns on itself after being triggered by a bacterial or viral infection. It affects just one in 70,000 causes inflammation of the blood vessels.

The nose, throat, lungs and ears usually become swollen and inflamed.
The kidneys can be involved, too, while for some people it affects the
eyes and skin.

David who dreams of a career in the
film industry nearly died after being admitted to North Devon District
Hospital on New Year’s Eve.

What he thought was a common cold soon developed into a life threatening condition.

saw a number of different doctors and was misdiagnosed with the flu,
pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis, before his symptoms were
recognised as Wegener’s.

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Mr Tyzak is taking a break from university while he recovers

He was put on a strong course of steroids and chemotherapy, the only treatment known to force the disease into remission.

But he reacted badly to the medication and advice was sought from Cambridge-bused Dr David Jayne the UK’s leading expert on Wegener’s as David underwent a life-saving plasma exchange.

He is now out of hospital but receiving treatment at the home he shares with his parents and sister Rebecca.

But the disease has transformed the fun-loving young man who is now practically housebound and unable to see much of a future.

He said: 'The disease never leaves you; it could re-emerge at any time.

'If I so much as catch a cold it could be life threatening,' he said.

With treatment people can recover, with the disease going into remission or at least kept in check.

However, there is a 50 per cent chance of a relapse even with the use of immunosuppressant drugs and corticosteroids to control inflammation.

Frequent hospital checks are required as the disease can also lead to kidney failure.

David, who has suffered complications in his lungs, has had to put his return to film studies at Bournemouth University on hold as a result.

But he and his family are determined to help raise awareness of the disease and give something back to the charity which offered them support.

David’s mother, Barbara Tyzak, said Wegener’s charity Vasculitis UK had been extremely supportive.

She said: 'Vasculitis UK got us through a really tough time; when I was sat by my son’s bedside not knowing if he was going to live or die they were there for me.

'We want more people to know about this disease and raise awareness because if David had waited any longer for diagnosis and treatment it would have been too late.'

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