*Editor’s Note* Below is a story obtained by the editor of The Outdoorsman, George Dovel, from a woman who was eventually diagnosed with hydatid disease. I first want to thank the victim for being willing to share a very personal and difficult event in her life with others. Secondly, I want to thank George Dovel and others for the persistence and hard work of bringing together the necessary information needed to present to the public official confirmation of the presence of hydatid disease in the Northern Rocky Mountain region.
I am personally angry and disgusted at the behavior of humans, who disregarded the warnings given them of the diseases carried by wolves and yet, perhaps blinded by their own greedy lust for personal agendas, and human behavior that has to be regarded as criminal, with near complete disregard for human health and safety, went ahead with their project – a project so bizarre many have asked who in their right minds would deliberately introduce an infectious disease, deadly to humans, into the midst of human population?
As you read this one person’s account with dealing with a disease that she contracted as the result of human behavior that places the welfare of an animal above that of a human, consider what is outside your door and why.
Idaho can brace itself for more stories like the one you are about to read. Nothing short of criminal charges should be brought against the perpetrators of this crime and the crimes that continue while those who wield the legal authority to do something about it, refuse, leaving citizens held hostage.
What a despicable display of twisted human behavior. God save us.
I am an Idaho Woman with a Story to Tell
Name on File
From 2001-2003 I had intestinal problems that didn’t seem to go away. I had various exams, tests, and colonoscopies. No definitive diagnosis was made. I concluded it must be stress from a recent accident of my son that left him a quadriplegic.
In June of 2003 I decided to go to an Internist in Boise to see if something was missed. She had ordered a CT scan as a diagnostic tool, and it showed a large “grapefruit size” cyst in the left lobe of my liver, which she was told was probably benign, as cysts are commonly found in the liver and to just watch to see if any symptoms develop.
In December, I went back to the Internist for my yearly physical and told the doctor that I had been having chest pains just below my sternum and that I could feel a lump there. I questioned if it could be a cyst. It would keep me awake at night. Another CT scan was taken and the large cyst was noted in the area of my symptoms. Several other cysts were seen on the right lobe of the liver.
It was concluded that the cyst should be aspirated and let the cyst walls collapse against themselves and adhere to each other. A “Special Procedure Radiologist” performed the procedure at the hospital. He placed a tube into the cyst just below the sternum and aspirated the fluid. The fluid was clear, more so than he expected. He said there didn’t appear to be any problem but was sending it to pathology and my doctor would call me with the result.
The next day my doctor called and said that the pathologist had just given her “Surprising News”. He had told my doctor “You won’t believe what I found! Echinoccocus Granulosus or Hydatid Disease.” My doctor told me how rare it was in the United States. I now knew I had a cyst full of tiny worms in my liver…
My doctor informed me that I would need to have another more complicated aspiration. I decided to wait for 10 days until after Christmas since the whole family was coming and I didn’t want to spoil anything for them. A few days later I noticed the aspiration site had become
quite red, about the size of a silver dollar, and my temperature was up to 103 degrees. My pain also increased as well and the lump had begun to fill up again and could be palpated, or felt.
My doctor referred me to an Infection Disease Specialist who prescribed Albendazol for me to begin taking immediately and for a re-aspiration of the cyst. All the literature the doctors could find said that a cyst my size should be removed surgically, resecting, or removing, part of the liver. But the doctors felt that since I had tolerated the procedure so well that last time that it might work to try it again and not have to have major surgery. They would aspirate the fluid again, then infuse a dye to rule out any extensions into other portions of the liver, and then inject an alcohol solution to kill the worms and help sclerosis in so it would collapse and adhere to itself.
This procedure was attempted, but concern of the color of the fluid (milky not clear), caused them to terminate the procedure waiting for lab results. I was hospitalized and put on IV antibiotics, with the tube in my liver through my chest still in place. I spiked a temperature of 104 degrees. After a few days of antibiotic treatment my temperature came back down and no bacteria was found upon the culture of the aspirant and the procedure was redone to completion.
I initially felt better with the pressure reduced as the CT scan now indicated that only 20% of the cyst remained open. However symptoms soon returned and another CT scan done three weeks later showed it 50% full of fluid again.
The Infection Specialist went to the hospital to look at the path slides and confirmed it was indeed the Hydatid “worms”. He recommended another aspiration of the cyst. I was really tired, sore, and becoming depressed over this whole situation. I expressed my desire to explore my option of surgical removal of the cyst. He recommended a liver specialist in Seattle. He explained that the surgery would be quite difficult and that the recovery would be about two months.
The Seattle doctor called me after seeing my CT scans and pathology reports. He said “the aspirations would never work on a cyst that size.” This was a bit disappointing as I had been billed over $20,000 so far and I still had the cyst!
I asked the doctor if he had a lot of experience with Hydatid Disease, since I was referred to him. He responded that he had only five patients with this disease
because it is so rare in the United States. He then added that he specializes in liver surgery and had been referred patients from all over the west. My surgery was scheduled for March 8.
I arrived a day early to have all the usual tests, CT scan, X-rays, labs and meet with the other doctors who would be working on my case; Infection Specialist, Resident Surgeon, Chief Surgeon, and Anesthesiologist. What a day.
We were advised of the ramifications of such a surgery since it was a major surgery and should have a very large incision to gain access extending from my sternum down and curving around the rib cage towards the back and along the waist line. It would have to be so large in order to check the cysts in the right lobe of my liver.
Nearly half of my liver was removed. Two or more cysts on the right lobe were aspirated but found benign. The doctors were pleased with the surgery but insisted I stay on the Albendazol for another 3 months, have blood word done for the next three months, and a CT scan at least once a year for the rest of my life to watch the other smaller cysts.
The doctor was very pleased with my progress and released me from the hospital after 5 days but I had to stay in Seattle for another 5 days before returning home. The Albendazol was quite hard on me causing my hair to thin a bit, but my recovery was steady and lasting. I still have a CT scan each year. My sixteen inch incision scar is a reminder to me that the Hydatid Disease can be transferred to humans. It is real. People need to be educated and take great caution.
(NOTE: This brave lady’s husband reportedly stood up during a public meeting and described how, contrary to wolf managers’ claims, his wife had a Hydatid Cyst removed from her liver which cost $63,000, and said they were hoping and praying other cysts had not been missed. His wife gave me copies of her pathology reports, wrote the foregoing story and title, and provided her medical photographs for publication in The Outdoorsman. I promised not to publish their names or clues to their location to prevent their being harassed by the wolf worshippers who abuse and threaten those who tell the truth about the downside of living with wolves. – ED)
Please take the time to read additional warnings from Dr. Valerius Geist about hydatid disease.
This is not the only case of hydatid disease in this region. Read another man’s account given during testimony before the Idaho State Legislature concerning HB 343.