From Let’s Do It for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Severe ME day is an initiative of the 25% ME group for the severely affected.
It is held annually on 8th August to commemorate Sophia Mirza’s birthday and it’s purpose is to remember and raise awareness of those deceased and severely affected by ME. Sophia Mirza (1973 – 2005) died in distressing circumstances in November 2005. The coroner was specific about the medical cause of Sophia’s death and it was recorded as 1a) acute anuric renal failure; 1b) CFS. The second cause was recorded as including dorsal root ganglionitis. Sophia died as a result of acute renal failure arising as a result of ME/CFS.
However there have been a few members of the ME community who’ve seemed keen to place the cause of death on acute anuric renal failure as a result of dehydration. These people are obviously ignorant of the fact that death in dehydration is caused by brain swelling, not renal failure. Sophia’s brain was perfectly normal under standard autopsy examination with no signs of swelling. Her death was as a result of end organ failure as the result of ME.This is not an unheard of before phenomenon in ME/CFS either.
It wasn’t, as has also been claimed, the first known death as the result of ME/CFS. ME is described as “benign” but this only means non-fatal in the short term. Even though the pathology precipitating death varies widely, as early as 1957, Dr Andrew Lachlan Wallis reported the post-mortem histopathology on a female from Cumbria who had died of ME; the report can be found in Wallis’ Doctoral Thesis (held at the University of Edinburgh and essential reading for anyone with an interest in ME/CFS; see also “Vade Mecum” by E. Marshall and M. Williams; Co-Cure ACT: 29th June 2005, which contains a summary of the thesis). The histopathology report states:
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