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Ed Yeates reporting For the first time, people with a deadly-like tiredness, which includes pain and all kinds of sickness, are seeing a big -light at the end of a dark tunnel.
A young, 21-year old Salt Lake man is one of them.
In about two hours - Michael Jorgensen will retire at his home here in Sugarhouse - knowing that when he wakes tomorrow morning - his nightmare is NO more.
As we end "Champions Times Three" tonight, let's push the clock ahead to some daylight.
Though Michael Jorgensen may have wanted to restore his old Scout a year ago - he couldn't!
Michael Jorgensen: "I basically just kind of fell off the planet. I didn't leave my room. I was just so tired and in so much pain that a day consisted of me laying in bed and occasionally getting up."
But that was then!
For the first time, this new experimental drug called Ampligen may be reversing symptoms of a little understood but very REAL disease called "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome."
Lucinda Bateman, M.D., Fatigue Consultation Clinic: "In a significant subset of patients, this drug shows benefits in a way that no other intervention has shown so far."
Michael is among twenty local CFS patients volunteering for this rare FDA approved clinical trial.
The turnaround, so far?
Lucinda Bateman, M.D., Fatigue Consultation Clinic: "It's like their minds wake up and they start to have a hunger for life again."
Michael's mother says her son was so bad at one point, he crawled exhausted and in pain on his hands and knees up the stairs from his bedroom. Is this the same Michael now?
Michael Jorgensen: "Instead of me just slowly creeping up the stairs, i would have some energy. She knew - she could hear my feet almost running up the stairs."
For the first time, these infusions appear to be strengthening the patient's immune system. The compound also contains anti-viral components - perhaps attacking low grade or latent viral infections - possible triggers for CFS.
But Dr. Lucinda Bateman says more importantly, if the trials prove out..
Lucinda Bateman, M.D., Fatigue Consultation Clinic: "Will also demonstrate something about the path physiology of this disease, and prove to naysayers that this disease exists." Mostly the world is waiting for some evidence. This study may be the beginning of that."
It's certainly a new beginning for Michael. He's not about to let any of these new precious slices of life - slip away.
JORGENSEN: "It's a complete change from where I have been and where I am now. I'm able to do things I was afraid I would never be able to do again."`
This IS Michael's victory - in all its simplicity - to feel normal again.
JORGENSEN: "Suddenly, I feel like I can make something of myself. I can do something with my life."
Physicians, health care workers, and patients can learn more about Michael, his treatment, and the new science behind CFS during a conference this Friday and Saturday in Salt Lake.