Back in 2000s, a meme was going around asking “What would Chuck Norris do?”
When his wife of 23 years fell ill, the martial artist and actor did what any good man would do, stick with her through the toughest of times.
It was proof that a man is not measured by the number of bad guys he beat up but by the number of good people he stayed loyal to even through the rollercoaster of events.
Chuck Norris’ wife Gena O’Kelly underwent an MRI scan in 2013.
Through these tests, O’Kelly was injected with “contrast agents.” These substances highlight specific parts of the body so that they can be easily seen in MRI films.
Once highlighted, damages and tumors can be easily detected, But Norris and his wife suspect that it does something else to the body.
O’Kelly was injected with an agent that contains “gadolinium”.
Gadolinium is a heavy metal with magnetic properties. And in a span of eight days, O’Kelly was injected with the contrast agent three times.
It was then that O’Kelly said that her condition worsened. She said that within hours of the first jab, she felt that her body was burning like acid was coursing through her veins. The sensation started in one area but spread all over her body.
She was rushed to the hospital because of a myriad of symptoms.
She complained about excruciating rib pain, difficulties in breathing, full-body tremors, muscle weakness, and joint pains.
Doctors attending her said that contrast agents leave the body safely after several hours of the injection so they believed that it couldn’t be the cause.
Norris then brought O’Kelly to a clinic that echoed their suspicions.
By the time they reached the clinic in Nevada, O’Kelly had already lost 15lbs and was eating baby food because she was having a difficult time swallowing.
The couple received an intervention plan which pushed Norris to choose between caring for her wife and his acting career. At this moment, you might’ve asked “What would Chuck do?”
Norris gave up his career and stayed with his wife.
O’Kelly shared with Mirror UK that she was on IV for five months and had nursing care 24 hours a day. Meanwhile, the Texas Ranger star slept on the couch and never left.
“I’ve given up my film career to concentrate on Gena, my whole life right now is about keeping her alive,” Norris was quoted as saying, “I believe this issue is so important.”
After recovering, Norris and O’Kelly wanted to raise awareness about gadolinium poisoning.
The couple filed a lawsuit against 11 pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the said contrast agents.
The couple was also quoted saying that they literally had to travel all over the world just to find an alternative medicine that could help O’Kelly.
Meanwhile, according to Mirror UK, the contrast agent used on O’Kelly is the same as the agent used on around a third of all MRI scans done every year.
In 2017, the FDA announced that they will require a new class warning for gadolinium-based contrast agents.
Learn more about how Chuck cared for Gena in the video below.
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