Some medical procedures are so common that few ever question their safety until it is too late. Chuck Norris, a famous American actor and martial artist, recently had to witness his wife go through agony – feeling helpless as the doctors rushed to find an answer to why Gena Norris was dying in front of their eyes.
“It’s the helpless feeling…I’m kind of a take charge guy, and then here I have something where I cannot do anything, and it was horrifying,” Chuck Norris told Full Measure host.
“I saw death in her eyes,” he said. “I saw her dying.”
Gena has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis and was instructed to get three MRIs in one week to evaluate her condition. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical test that most people go through at least once in their lifetime. What the Norris’s family did not realize is this test has a serious but little-known side effect.
Right after the third MRI, Gena ended up in the emergency room for six nights in a row. She was bombarded with mysterious health symptoms that left the E.R. medical staff feeling clueless. She was tested for cancer, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and many other conditions, but none matched her symptoms.
“What’s wrong with you?” the doctors asked, and all Gena could say is: “I’m burning. That’s all I can tell you is I’m burning all over. I feel like I have acid everywhere in my tissue…I’m on fire.”
Through pain, Gena took researching into her own hands, looking through published medical literature and patient accounts until she what caused her suffering – a toxic heavy metal called gadolinium that is used an pre-MRI injection to enhances the test images.
The next night that she ended up in the hospital, Gena pleaded with her doctors to look into what she found.
“I’m only going to be able to tell you this one time and I need you to listen to me very closely. I have been poisoned with gadolinium and we don’t have much time to figure out how to get this out of my body or I am going to die,” she told the medical staff.
Her hospital in Houston, Texas was of no help, so her husband took her to a clinic in Reno, Nevada (and later to China) where an intensive alternative treatment was administrated.
At the time Gena could not swallow. Her arm was drawn up in a severe cramp. And there were many other bodily issues. Her whole body was simply not properly functioning.
The substance that poisoned her, gadolinium, is thought to leave the body immediately after the procedure, but as the tests showed, Gena’s body contained dangerous amounts of this heavy metal long after the MRIs took place. This heavy metal injury left her fighting for her life for months.
Modern medicine was powerless to fix the problem that it caused. Thankfully, the Norris family found alternative methods of detoxification. It took a while, but the search was well worth it (after all, what’s more important than health?).
Gena laid in bed for five months, hooked on IVs. Later, she purchased a hyperbaric chamber to aid her brain’s healing.
Finally she started recovering, and then Gena slowly returned to life.
Chuck has posted the following Facebook message and video to spread awareness through his network of over 6 million fans about his wife’s story:
Gadolinium and MRIs: A Common, Risky Connection
When patients get MRIs, they most commonly hear that they will be injected with a “dye” that will help the hospital staff read the results. What they are not told is that in about 30% of cases, this “dye” is actually gadolinium, an extremely poisonous metal.
The medical community thinks that it is pretty harmless, and that it leaves the body right after an MRI is done. As we see from Gena’s horrible experience, that is not always the case.
The internal FDA documents show that many scientists have known for over a decade that this issue exists, yet nothing has been done to protect millions of people who get MRIs every year.
In 2006, the FDA recognized that there is a strong link between gadolinium and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), a deadly condition that leads to thickening of organs and skin.
In 2007, they had to add a warning to gadolinium stating that it can put patients who have weak kidneys at risk as their bodies might not be able to eliminate this toxin from their bodies.
The first problem is that many people and their doctors have no idea that they have weak kidneys.
The second problem is this is not the case with every patient.
After Gena, Full Measure host interviewed Sharon Williams, a patient advocate for gadolinium poisoning and one of the two founders of GadoliniumToxicity.com
Sharon had five MRIs in her life, and after each one her health deteriorated more and more. However, she has zero kidneys problems, which shows that gadolinium can be toxic to people with functioning kidneys as well.
A test has revealed that she had this heavy metal stored in her thyroid gland and brain. After MRIs she developed a rash and other skin problems, which made her lose hair on her legs. She had symptoms in her abdomen, her ribs, and her head. She was in pain. She had muscle spasms, high blood pressure, and poor cognitive function.
After realizing the connection between her health struggles and gadolinium, Sharon created GadoliniumToxicity.com together with Hubbs Grimm to educate patients. She has collected 500 research articles about gadolinium and its toxicity, and now fights for appropriate treatment for all who are affected by this heavy metal.
Modern medical treatment for gadolinium poisoning is highly expensive and is difficult to find. The Norris family spent over $2 million on Gena’s treatment. This is not something many families can afford.
“We’ve been blessed enough to be able to afford the alternative or the integrative treatments and modalities and the medicines that are out there. There are millions of people that, that don’t have that, okay, and because insurance doesn’t pay,” Gena said.
Pharmaceutical Companies’ Grip on Gadolinium
The FDA has so far done nothing about the gadolinium issue. But the information is slowly penetrating the public and affecting government policy. Last year in Europe, a government health committee made a recommendation that gadolinium should be suspended from use, even as it is still routinely administered to patients here in the U.S.
One of the major companies that makes it, General Electric’s (GE) health care division, asked officials to reconsider the ban. General Electric, pharmaceutical company Bayer, and the FDA all claim that “the risk benefit profile [for gadolinium products] remains favorable.”
The Full Measure segment called “Fighting for Her Life” can be viewed below:
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