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A man has a rare disease that causes a fungus to “make a home” in his brain – Life Health

Monday, March 14, 2022 19.00 WIB (GMT+7)

Literally, mushrooms actually grew in this man’s brain.

Tyson Bottenus (35 years) from Rhode Island, USA is one of 120 recorded cases of Cladophialophora bantiana infection, linked to black fungus since 1911.

In the case of Tyson Bottenus, this fungus has made a home in his brain, causing various symptoms.

A man has a rare disease that causes fungus

It is best that Tyson is still alive, because according to statistics, a black fungus will kill 70% of its host. It can be said that Tyson did everything to fight this evil disease. He hopes that one day, doctors will remove all the fungus in his brain. This is an uphill battle that even modern medicine has to ‘grave’.

Four years ago, Tyson decided to celebrate his engagement by cycling with his fiancé in Costa Rica. Everything was going well until the third day of vacation, Tyson accidentally fell off his bike, scratching his left elbow.

It wasn’t a serious injury, so Tyson washed and applied a simple bandage, then had it checked the next morning by a nurse.

The nurse told Tyson that all the cyclists had the same injuries and there was nothing to worry about. Indeed, his elbow healed quickly, both of them were able to continue their vacation and return to America.

But after about 3 weeks, Tyson started experiencing strange symptoms, often severe headaches, facial paralysis and even difficulty smiling.

A man has a rare disease that causes fungus

Tyson immediately went to the doctor to convey the problem. When he did an MRI, doctors found a strange circle in the center of his brain. It was the start of an arduous journey to identify this mysterious circle.

Tyson asked the doctor if it was cancer? The doctor replied that “still not sure”.

When he heard about a bicycle accident in Costa Rica, doctors diagnosed Tyson might have liver disease. After that, he was tested for many other diseases like Lyme, tuberculosis, AIDS, brain cancer but all the results were negative.

Tyson was given oral antifungal medication and steroids by his doctor to treat the swelling. Unfortunately, this treatment did not work.

A man has a rare disease that causes fungus

Tests show that antifungal drugs do not reach the brain due to the protective barrier of the human body. This meant that Tyson’s immune system could at least stop the black fungus in his brain from killing him.

In March 2020, Tyson stopped taking steroids for fear of weakening his immune system. After that, he was also infected with COVID-19, then suffered a stroke which resulted in his vision impaired, hoarse voice, and difficulty writing.

Tyson’s intracranial pressure was 15 times normal. Some doctors believe that, if he recovered from his illness, he might be permanently blind.

Fortunately, surgery restored Tyson’s eyesight, but he still can’t drive a car or row a boat like he used to. He continued to live with the black mold in his brain.

The location of the fungal growth caused the surgical removal or the experimental drug to fail. However, Tyson is not in despair and is currently being treated with a new antifungal drug.

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