Doctors suspect a 22-year-old Virginia woman has contracted the human variant of mad cow disease shortly after she had gastric bypass surgery, WAVY-TV reports.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which affects roughly one-in-a-million people, is a degenerative and fatal brain disorder has been linked to tainted medical instruments and certain medical procedures, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Aretha Vinson’s health began to deteriorate three months ago, just after she had the surgery. First, her motor skills started to go and her memory faded. Now, the Portsmouth, Va., resident lies unconscious in a hospital bed.
There is no cure or treatment for the disease.
"The pain is just excruciating," said Vinson's mother, Robin. "I feel there's been a part of my life ripped from me."