Mark D. is fighting for justice on behalf of his brother, Grant, whose health has gone downhill since he was prescribed Avandia.
Grant started taking Avandia two years ago after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Prior to taking Avandia, he had no history of heart problems. "Grant had never had any problems in the past," Mark says. "He had a clean bill of health in terms of his heart prior to that. There was no history of heart disease in our family."
Within a year of being on Avandia, Grant was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Within two years, Grant was diagnosed with 80 percent blockage of his arteries. He required a quadruple bypass surgery. Grant went in for the surgery on a Monday, but experienced some complications and came out of the surgery with a heart fibrillation.
Only three days after the surgery, Grant suffered a massive stroke, which left him paralyzed on his left side and unable to speak. "We don’t know what caused the stroke, but we assume it had something to do with his requiring the operation to begin with," Mark says.
Furthermore, Grant’s kidneys shut down and he developed swelling on his brain. Luckily, after two days of dialysis, Grant’s kidneys began to function again and he regained his ability to speak three weeks later. However, damage to his brain was about 25 percent.
"The surgeon and the doctor controlling Grant’s diabetes were surprised he was there with blocked arteries, considering his health prior to this," Mark says. "They couldn’t believe that a 45-year-old had the problems Grant had."
Some people might think that Grant’s stroke and other problems were caused by complications from the surgery and that Avandia had nothing to do with it. However, would Grant have required the surgery if he had not been on Avandia? Even if Avandia did not directly cause the stroke, it may have been an indirect cause because it pushed Grant’s blood pressure up and started a chain of events that culminated in his stroke.
"Grant will probably never be 100 percent," Mark says. "He had 25 percent of his brain affected by the stroke. He was an amazing musician, so that’s rough for him. He’s lost a lot of quality of life. Having said that, he’s got a sense of humor and he’s working hard.
"In Grant’s room, a room of eight people, there were four other patients that had open-heart surgery that had also been on Avandia. Something must be going on-some doctors must have an idea of what is going on.
"It’s starting to sound a lot like Vioxx, where statements are made that the risks outweigh the benefits.
"I just want some justice done here for my brother."