A man who had wanted to do a "good deed" by donating his blood was told that he had hepatitis C and cannot be a blood donor again.
Dan Palmer, a professional musician, received a letter in the mail six weeks after he had given blood informing him of his devastating diagnosis.
Good Deed Gone Wrong
Palmer was told of his illness in 2003. The musician was at a charity event when he decided to give blood for the event's mobile clinic. Palmer stated that he was in shock, followed by fear, when he read the letter. He commented that he had friends who were diagnosed with hepatitis C but there wasn't much knowledge about it at the time.
The 56-year-old was also informed that had a rare hepatitis C genotype, Genotype 3, which is even harder to treat. Palmer's early treatment regimen included interferon and ribavirin, which he claimed was "hell" and only the beginning of his long, recovery process.
Palmer claimed he wasn't sure how he became infected with hepatitis C but a former girlfriend that he had broken up with 12 years prior had informed him that she had hepatitis C, which he believes could have been the cause of his illness. After being treated for weeks, Palmer had to receive a liver transplant because doctors did not know how to treat his type of hepatitis C.
The musician received his transplant in 2015 but the virus was still in his blood and soon began to damage his new liver. Palmer was then put on a new drug regimen which resulted in the musician feeling depressed, nauseous, and tired. Palmer was on the medication for 12 weeks.
Palmer ended his treatment three years ago and credits it for his life. The musician stated that he wants to use his experience to help others. He has become a member of the American Liver Society.
"Ignorance is the great enemy. That's why I've been so adamant. I've spoken openly about hepatitis C and my need for a liver transplant and blogged extensively about my journey," Palmer stated.
Hepatitis C can be determined by signs or symptoms but is diagnosed through testing. There are two ways to categorize the virus: acute hepatitis C and chronic hepatitis C. In the United States, a total of 2,976 cases in 42 states of acute hepatitis C were reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Genotype 3 is not commonly found in the United States. Research has shown that the genotype 1 is the most common in America and the cause of at least 70 percent of all infections.