Movie superstar Chuck Norris is in dire need of our prayers after his wife was poisoned during a medical procedure.
The conservative action hero opened up about his wife’s struggles with a rare disease that resulted from being literally poisoned by an injection she received prior to having an MRI done to check for rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Daily Mail, Norris’s 54-year-old wife Gena Norris has been afflicted by the horrible symptoms of the heavy metal-rich dye used to highlight her internal organs for over four years, and now they’re trying to bring awareness to others about the dangers it poses to people.
Broken — that’s how Gena Norris, wife of American action hero and martial arts expert Chuck Norris, describes herself now.
The 54-year-old suffers from burning nerve pain and kidney problems and at one stage, four years ago, feared she would die.
Today, the couple are convinced her problems are down to an injection she was given before a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to check for rheumatoid arthritis.
The injection that Norris and his wife are talking about is known as a contrast agent, which helps give doctors a clearer picture of organs, blood vessels, and soft tissues so they can better diagnose ailments. The particular agent used on Gena contained the heavy metal known as gadolinium, which is magnetic by nature. Sadly, when doctors used the chemical agent on Gena in 2013, her life took a severe turn for the worse, with her husband praying to God daily that she was able to survive the ordeal.
It was in spring 2013 that she became desperately ill after three gadolinium injections in eight days during investigations for rheumatoid arthritis. She had tested positive for rheumatoid factor, sometimes a marker for the condition, and doctors were checking for signs of inflammation.
‘Within hours after the first jab I felt like my whole body was on fire — as if acid had been passed through it,’ says Gena, who lives on a Texas ranch with Chuck, 77, and twins Dakota and Danilee, 16.
‘The burning was isolated at first, but it just kept spreading.’
In the space of a few weeks she was rushed to hospital six times with excruciating rib pain, breathing difficulties, full-body tremors, muscle weakness, and joint pain — but doctors were baffled.
‘Before this, I was a vibrant person,’ says Gena. ‘In fact, I’d say my health and fitness levels would have put me in the top 10 per cent of people in the world back then.’
Both Gena and Chuck tried desperately to determine the cause of her symptoms, but had little luck as her doctors and radiologists both denied that the injection could have caused them. However, they caught a break when Gena found a website online discussion gadolinium poisoning and the symptoms one has after contracting it.
The symptoms — nerve pain, brain fog and musculoskeletal problems such as muscle weakness — were worryingly familiar, and she became convinced there was a link. ‘I asked about the injections at the time, but was told they were perfectly safe and I just had to drink water and the contrast agent would be out of my system in a few hours,’ she says.
But on arriving in hospital for the sixth time and telling doctors her fears, they said it was impossible she had gadolinium toxicity.
The desperate couple contacted numerous medical clinics, but none were able to help. Then one day, they found a place in Reno, Nevada that recognized her condition and offered to help.
“By the time I reached the clinic — weeks after I had the injections — I had lost 15lb and was finding it hard to swallow — I had to be fed baby food,” recalls Gena.
Her troubles were far from over. She was given an IV treatment at the clinic called calcium EDTA, which is a chemical salt that separates heavy metals from dyes and is used to treat lead poisoning by binding to the metal ions and driving them out of the body.
Five months later, she started to feel some relief.
“I just lay in bed on an IV for five months and had to have round-the-clock nursing care,” says Gena.
“Chuck slept beside me on the couch and never left,” she added. “I prayed that I would live to raise my children.”
Four years later and she’s doing much better. However, she still requires regular treatments and stem cell therapy to help cope with the lasting effects from the dye injection.
Last week, Gena and Chuck filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the chemical that cause her so much pain. But ever since she first became ill, Chuck has devoted all of his time and energy to helping his sick wife, even putting his own career to the side so he could be with her.
Chuck, who is campaigning with his wife to highlight the dangers, has devoted himself to caring for Gena. He told Good Health: ‘I’ve given up my film career to concentrate on Gena, my whole life right now is about keeping her alive. I believe this issue is so important.’