Dad-of-two got paralyzed and almost died after eating an exotic chicken curry

Dad-of-two got paralyzed and almost died after eating an exotic chicken curry

By Kunal Dey

LONDON, ENGLAND: A father-of-two has claimed he was paralyzed and nearly died after a chicken curry triggered a rare autoimmune disorder. David Miller, 43, went on a downward spiral after eating his normal chicken bhuna order from his favorite Indian takeaway in the city.

Miller reportedly said that he contracted severe food poisoning, which eventually led to him developing Guillian-Barré Syndrome. The web contractor and avid cyclist had to be placed in intensive care after he was unable to breathe properly or walk. He spent months in the hospital recovering and is finally free of symptoms.

‘It was a steep decline’

Miller fell ill in 2016 but has now decided to speak about his six-year-long recovery as he prepares to run his first marathon since recuperating from the debilitating disorder. “It was pretty scary,” he said, per Coventry Telegraph. “Obviously, we didn’t go back to that restaurant again. It was a steep decline – I went from having tingling and pins and needles in my hands and feet to needing a wheelchair to get into the hospital a week later. Some people die from this syndrome. It works its way from the extremities through your core and can stop your breathing. Imagine looking at your body and trying to make it move and it doesn’t,” he added.

Guillain-Barré syndrome

Miller, who currently lives in Welbourn, Lincolnshire, believed it all started from the bout of food poisoning he caught from the exotic chicken curry. The painful stomach bug lasted a week and led to him suffering from gastroenteritis for two months. He now attributes the food poisoning and subsequent gastroenteritis to his immune system being compromised. He recalled how he had just moved house from London to Lincoln in December that year when the numbness and tingling sensation started over Christmas. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome a week later. The rare autoimmune condition occurs when a weakened immune system starts to attack and damage its own nerve cells.


Breathing compromised

In January 2017, Miller was admitted to a hospital and put into intensive care after his breathing became compromised. “I was worried about my breathing, I could tell I wasn’t breathing strongly,” he said, adding, “I was never fully paralyzed, I still had some movement in my hips but not enough to even roll over in bed with.” The embattled father — who has two daughters, seven-year-old Elise and three-year-old Eva — remembered not even being able to watch a game of football properly due to nerve damage that had affected his vision and his ability to focus. When his wife Kirsty brought their 18-month-old baby girl, Elise, to visit him in the hospital, she did not recognize him. “I remember my wife putting her on me when I was lying in bed,” Miller recalled, adding, “Elise very clearly didn’t want to be there. It was upsetting, certainly odd.”

Full recovery

Miller was discharged from the hospital two-and-a-half months later. However, he continued to use crutches and walking sticks to move around and had to install grab rails around their new house. “It does make you think about food and the knock-on effect. It was a year of my life that it affected. My eating habits haven’t really changed, but it does make you think,” he continued.

Fortunately, he has since made a full recovery with zero lasting side effects and is now preparing to run the London marathon this April. “It makes you think a little bit more about life and focus on the now,” Miller said. “I’ve been doing that more recently. I’ve taken more time off work and being ill was definitely a contributing factor to that. With the marathon, I’m raising money for the John Muir Trust. I’ve been worrying about the future more recently and the money raised will go to protecting our forests,” he added. You can contribute to Miller’s effort on the TCS London Marathon page.

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