Failure to Diagnose: Moyamoya


A profile in a British newspaper is drawing attention to a rare, but devastating, illness. Claris Diaz, now in her mid-30s, first realized something was wrong when she suffered a series of minor strokes in her childhood. Doctors were baffled, and she began to hide her symptoms for fear of what she might learn if she shared them.

But in her 20s, Claris decided she had to discover just what was causing her debilitating illness, as fear was overwhelming her life. She worried she might die from something as simple as laughter or a sneeze, and she sought out every doctor she could find. Unfortunately, none were able to help her. Though her symptoms didn’t fit, many of the doctors insisted she suffered from cluster migraines, but she knew that was not the case.

It was only after years of searching that Claris finally received the correct diagnosis. She was finally treated with multiple surgeries, and eventually graduated with a Master’s degree to live a healthy, productive life. She suffers from Moyamoya Disease, a rare and potentially fatal syndrome. Symptoms include:

  • Recurrent mini-strokes
  • Speech deficits
  • Involuntary movements
  • Weakness on one side of the body

If the disease is not diagnosed and treated quickly, usually through brain surgery, the individual can have a massive, fatal stroke. Sadly, that is the fate of so many who suffer from this disease, because the medical establishment fails to properly evaluate patients. It is too easy to assume something common, like cluster headaches, than to follow the symptoms through to the proper diagnosis.

If you or a loved one suffers from Moyamoya disease, and doctors failed to diagnose you promptly, please contact an attorney. Doctors will continue to ignore this disease until patients stand up for their rights, and the only way to do so is to use the power of the courts to compel doctors to do pay attention to the symptoms their patients present.