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Powerlifter, Father Of 3, On Life Support Weeks After Catching ‘Bad Cold’

by rajtamil
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When many of us catch a cold, we typically expect to recover within a few days. This was the assumption made by Jared Maynard, a 33-year-old powerlifter, physiotherapist, and father of three from Ontario, Canada, when he began experiencing sniffles in January last year. However, he soon discovered he was mistaken.

Mr Maynard, along with his wife and three daughters, all appeared to have contracted what initially seemed like a mild cold. While his daughters and wife recovered within a week, Mr Maynard's condition worsened. Gradually, his skin took on a yellow hue, and he began experiencing delirium, People reported.

Subsequent hospital examinations revealed that his illness was not a common cold, but rather a virus that had triggered a rare immune system disorder, causing his liver and kidneys to cease functioning. Doctors diagnosed him with life-threatening hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a condition that prompts the immune system to attack the body as if it were a foreign invader, particularly in the presence of a virus.

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A post shared by Jared Maynard – Physio & Strength Coach (@jared.rebuild_stronger)

Placed on life support, Mr Maynard's prognosis appeared grim, with doctors preparing for what they believed might be his final days. HLH is relatively rare, with an uncertain prevalence. A study conducted by internists at Rochester General Hospital identified 16,136 cases of the disease in the United States between 2006 and 2019, with a mortality rate estimated at 40 per cent by doctors at the Lyon Immunopathology Federation in France.

HLH manifests in two forms: one linked to genetics and the other triggered by viral or bacterial infections. In Mr Maynard's case, doctors determined that his HLH developed in response to the Epstein-Barr virus, commonly known as mono or the kissing disease. While mono typically resolves with ample rest within a few weeks, the combination of mono and HLH led to organ failure in Mr Maynard.

By late January, he was sedated and placed on a ventilator and dialysis. Despite the standard treatment for HLH involving a regimen of chemotherapy drugs, Mr Maynard's weakened state precluded full administration of the therapy. Initially doubtful of his chances of survival, his physicians initiated palliative care, anticipating his imminent decline. However, to their astonishment, Mr Maynard began showing signs of recovery in March.

"It was enough to earn me the nickname "Miracle Man" in fact," Mr Maynard told Jam News.

During his treatment, Mr Maynard lost 43 pounds. "My doctors told me that without me being as fit and strong as I was going in, I likely wouldn't have made it through," he said.

Mr Maynard was discharged from the hospital in May 2023. He had to relearn how to walk, sit, stand, and even breathe, speak and swallow again.

Despite regaining motor skills, nerve damage in his feet from chemotherapy caused lingering pain and a struggle to regain his sense of smell. Yet, his focus remained unwavering: rebuilding strength. As a strength coach, weightlifting became his therapy.

Since restarting in June 2023, he's progressed to lifting an impressive 465 pounds. But his proudest achievement? Picking up his daughters again. The ability to hold all three, he shared, "felt like a piece of my heart was restored."

"I wish people knew that building muscle, strength, and physical resilience is the best life insurance policy you'll ever take out,' he said, adding, 'It's too easy to put yourself last on your list of priorities between work, school, kids and other obligations," he said.

"We all think we have time to get our act together until we don't. I found that out the hard way," he concluded.

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