Fungal Meningitis Victim Returns Home After Relapse - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fungal Meningitis Victim Returns Home After Relapse

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by Chris Conte

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville woman has returned home after suffering a relapse of fungal meningitis. It's been more than a year since the outbreak began, but some people who thought they were cured are getting sick again.

Joan Peay is still in pain, her back muscles weakened by months in the hospital, and years of her life taken away without her permission.

"What keeps me going? I guess determination," Peay said while sitting in her living room where she has been forced to spend most of her days.

In March, doctors told Joan the fungal meningitis which brought her to the brink of death was gone. Then without warning in September it returned-- a relapse, doctors told her.

"It started with a killer headache from the base of my skull, I thought my head was just gonna blow off," she recalled.

Peay said she is not an evil person, without a mean bone in her body. But she has harsh words for executives at New England Compounding Center, the ones responsible for making the tainted steroid shot which got her sick.

"I'd like to get well enough to go find those people who own the compound center and shoot them in the foot so that every time they took a step, they remember what they did to us," she said.

All of the anti-fungal medication has impacted her memory, leaving her unable to remember events 10 minutes in the past.

"The memory; sometimes I'll be talking and I can't even remember what I'm talking about and was really important too."

She said she wishes she didn't have to remember how painful the last year has been.


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