Medical mystery: Doctors unsure what’s causing Colorado man’s paralysis

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — Jon Curran doesn’t go out in public without an oxygen tank on his back to help him breathe or special gloves on his hands to control severe tremors.

The 29-year-old father, who was perfectly healthy a year ago, is now fighting debilitating health issues that no metro Denver doctor has been able to diagnose.

Curran was rushed to Littleton Adventist Hospital on May 26 because of severe body tremors. It was the ninth time in a year he had been rushed to an area hospital by ambulance.

“It`s a disease that`s plagued my entire body, causing partial to full paralysis,” said Curran.

On June 18, the married father of two will visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to meet with a team of medical experts. The appointment was recommended by the National Institutes of Health after Curran visited numerous specialists in the Denver area, who haven’t been able to diagnose his illness.

“To have no answers, no plan, no course of action it can become depressing at times,” said Curran, a cyber-security analyst, who’s been able to work from home since his symptoms began about a year ago.

One night he woke up with a sharp pain in his chest. He was rushed to the hospital with what he thought was a heart attack, but tests revealed nothing wrong, “Everything comes back clear, comes back as if I`m totally healthy and fine.”

Curran showed FOX31 how severe his hands shake when he takes off his gloves. His symptoms come and go, but they include migraines, full body numbness, fatigue, partial paralysis, no sense of touch, even his ability to speak has been affected.

He sleeps so heavy, his wife Christina Watkins has to shake him hard to wake him up. “We’ve gotten to a point where I start waking him up about an hour before he’s supposed to get up. He doesn’t quite know who I am when he first gets up.”

She prays the Mayo Clinic will come up with a diagnosis that has so far eluded the couple. “If anybody in the world is going to get us answers it`s going to have to be there because everywhere else that we`ve tried, they`ve thrown their hands up,” said Watkins.

Jon Curran says he wonders if the illness will eventually kill him, if doctors can’t determine a course of action. “I just don’t want to think about my 3-year-old not having a dad.”

Curran’s health insurance will cover the exams at the Mayo Clinic, which could take two to three weeks, but not his food and lodging while he’s in Minnesota.

He’s already spent more than $15,000 out of pocket for medical expenses in the past year so his family set up a GoFundMe page seeking donations to help pay for his expenses in Rochester.