Patient Zero: Three Years to Live

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9781517246310: Patient Zero: Three Years to Live

Follow the true story of a 15-year-old, impoverished, illegal immigrant as she deals with a devastating disease known as Myasthenia Gravis. She grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she lived with her two brothers and parents. Disenchanted with failed attempts to make a living, her father moved the family to the United States, with hopes of finding work. Financial ruin, alcoholism and lack of legal status, forced the family to go back to Great Britain. After selling everything they owned and purchasing plane tickets, Margaret becomes gravely ill, and the move is cancelled. A former gymnast, she quickly and suddenly loses the ability to speak, chew and swallow food, exercise, and ultimately, breathe. She suffers misdiagnoses, multiple hospitalizations, and unnecessary surgery, eventually landing in intensive care and on life support. She undergoes years of treatments, including total body irradiation therapy and chemotherapy. Countless medications fail to alleviate her symptoms, and cause life-threatening side effects. At the same time, she manages to complete high school and go to college. After graduating with a Master’s degree, Margaret was accepted in to a doctoral program, along with her father. Knowing that she was physically weakened and mentally destroyed, her father gives up his job, and joins the doctoral program to support her. While going to school, and still in her twenties, she receives a terminal diagnosis, and told that she has approximately three years to live. Promising never to tell a soul about her prognosis, Margaret continues onwards, as best she can. Find out how a radical approach to treatment changed her life forever, as well as the lives of thousands of people living with Myasthenia Gravis. A truly remarkable and inspirational story of survival and resilience.

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Margaret graduated from the University of South Florida with a doctorate in special education and research and measurement. She lives in Tampa, Florida and works from home for a large software company. When physically able, she enjoys all forms of exercise, specifically boot camp and spin classes, and has even been able to run a 5K race. Animals are her passion, and she fosters kittens that would otherwise be euthanized, caring for them until they can be adopted. Margaret remains close to, and takes care of, her father who lives nearby and is in poor health. She is grateful to be surrounded by a wonderful, kind group of caring and supportive friends. Her Myasthenia Gravis remains well-controlled and stable, on a combination of prednisone and Cellcept. She hopes that her story inspires and brings comfort to others who suffer from this horrible disease.

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