My name is Cory. I'm a medically retired Navy pilot with nearly 1200 flight-hours (including 250+ combat flight-hours) and I served two deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I have an aerospace engineering degree, I have a beautiful wife, and I have Wilson Disease. I was diagnosed in 2018 at the age of 28 after my aircraft-handling became so poor that I pulled myself off the flightline. The MRI you see in the photo is the very one that secured my diagnosis.The first time someone alerted me to my tremor was in 2006. The first time my medical record acknowledged my Kayser-Fleischer rings was in 2011. I was misdiagnosed four times before before finally being treated, I attempted suicide three times, I was admitted to inpatient behavioral health twice, and I was bound to a wheelchair once.
All of my flight hours came subsequent to the first observation of my KF-rings... It's a miracle nobody got hurt.
I've had many, symptoms. Some symptoms, like sunflower cataracts and KF-rings, are benign and reversible. Some are nothing more than annoying. But then, some are outright crippling. This is an abridged list of my most debilitating symptoms:
Disinhibition/behavioral issues, cognitive flooding, perseveration, distractibility, scattered/tangential thinking, impulsivity, sexual promiscuity/exhibitionism, memory deficits, impaired judgement, difficulty initiating and completing tasks, emotional lability, depression, suicidal ideations, anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, fatigue, dyssomnia, dysphagia, aphasia, dizziness, gait abnormalities (ataxia), rigid dystonia, muscle/joint pain (myalgia/arthralgia), respiratory depression, incontinence, and tremors.
Each symptom is individually challenging, but what’s worse is that they interact with each other in exponential synergy. Symptom management is critical to successful treatment, but it can be tricky. Side effects are often intolerable and lead to non-compliance. Gabapentin made me dizzier; zinc gave me acid reflux; antipsychotics and sleep medicines may have had a role in a 5-day, 110-hour period of total insomnia. In my case, Syprine caused intense dysgeusia. I completely lost my appetite because everything tasted like metal. It also caused me rapid neurological worsening. The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t eat or sleep. I lost 60 pounds.
Please help me pay it forward.
Donate to the WDA.
All donations are used to fund the Patient Registry Research Project for Wilson Disease. The Wilson Disease Association is a 501 c (c) organization in the United States.
|Anonymous Friend||02/22/2021||$50.00||Mara Zeleke||10/27/2020||$50.00||Your story is inspiring and hope this small amount of donation help toward help others.||Kimerly Henry||10/22/2020||$100.00||Carol and George Haker||10/19/2020||$100.00||From Aunt Carol and Uncle George.||Haker Auto Sales||10/19/2020||$100.00||From Aunt Carol and Uncle George||Jake & Gloria Woodall||10/15/2020||$50.00||Cory please know how proud we are of your active service and your active fight against this disease. We love ya kid.||Laila Schless||10/14/2020||$50.00||Thank you for sharing your story and I’m glad that you are trying to make people aware of your experiences and of your journey with this disease!!||Margot Fox||10/13/2020||$100.00||I'm so proud of you.||Avik Saha||10/12/2020||$100.00||It was an absolute privilege and pleasure to have flown with you. You are one of a handful of pilots that I trusted unconditionally and always looked forward to flying with. Stay strong and stay safe bud, you'll be in my thoughts and prayers.||Nicole McKay||10/12/2020||$50.00||Thank you for your military service. I admire your strength and courage. My daughter has Wilson Disease as well. God bless you.||Jeff Lewis||10/12/2020||$100.00||Ariel Baltis||10/11/2020||$100.00||Jennifer Lloyd-Polozola||10/11/2020||$500.00||Chason Godwin||10/11/2020||$10.00||The Schmidts||10/11/2020||$25.00||Brent Woodall||10/11/2020||$100.00||From Tina Woodall with all my love, my son||Brent Woodall||10/10/2020||$20.00||With you all the way||Cory Woodall||10/10/2020||$600.00||Judith Keller||10/03/2020||$10.00||Thank you for your what you do|