Sam Hunt graciously forwarded an item from KTVU TV about Morgellons Disease, a skin-crawling, muscle-twitcing condition that affects some 3000 persons nationwide, including former A’s/White Sox/Blue Jays closer Billy Koch and his family.
It started in Oakland four years ago. Koch saved 44 games and was the top reliever in the major leagues. His fastball wowed crowds. And then the strangeness began.
His wife, Brandi describes their symptoms: “It was the scariest thing I had ever realized in my entire life. There was matter and black specks coming out and off of my skin.”
Within two years — at age 29 — Billy Koch was out of baseball, partly because of the uncontrollable muscle twitching that went on for months at a time and often kept up him up all night.The disease is characterized by slow healing skin lesions that often extrude small, dark filaments, especially after bathing.”That’s when it would really just ooze — literally ooze out of my skin,” explained Brandi Koch.
The couple was at wit’s end after numerous doctors not only provided little in the way of relief, but actually were skeptical about their health problems: “There’s no reasonable explanation for it. I’m not seeing things. l’m watching it happen. We’re pretty sane people¦” lamented Billy.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Neelam Uppal sympathized with the Kochs’ plight: “They’ve seen several doctors, [and] everybody’s told them they’re crazy. It’s in their head. They’re delusional.”