Sophia Mirza

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Sophia suffered from very severe ME

Sophia Mirza (8 August 1973-15 November 2005) was a woman in the United Kingdom who suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis. She has been referred to as the first patient in the UK to have CFS (ME) listed as a cause of her death, however a letter to New Scientist magazine suggested there had been a previous death attributed to the disease.[1]

Life[edit | edit source]

Sophia joined "Woodcraft" and enjoyed weekly groups as well as camping. She was involved in the eco movement and recycling. Her art was incorporated into organic foods, yoga, camping, cycling and music.[2]

Illness[edit | edit source]

Sophia suffered two car crashes as a teenager and was hospitalized with meningitis. At age 19, she had multiple vaccinations before traveling to Africa for work, where she twice had malaria. She fell ill with ME after an apparent flu-like illness.[2]

Death[edit | edit source]

Her death came not long after someone forced entry into her mother's home, sectioned, and forced Sophia to a mental hospital in 2003. An independent Neuropathologist found Sophia's spine contained massive infection.[2][3]

Inquest[edit | edit source]

Summary by: Invest in ME

Dr. O’Donovan, one of the neuro-pathologists who had examined Sophia's spinal cord testified at the inquest he would not support the term ME as CFS is the modern term and he hadn't seen evidence of muscle inflammation (which they didn't look for.)[4]

Sophia's November 25, 2005 death certificate verdict: "SHE DIED AS A RESULT OF ACUTE RENAL FAILURE ARISING FROM THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME"; previous meningitis; high body mass index, dorsal root ganglionitis; and hepatic steatosis were also listed.[5]

Doctors Abhijit Chaudhuri, a Neurologist and Dominic O’Donovan, a Neuropathologist, examined spinal tissue from Sophia Mirza prior to the inquest into her death and found changes to her spinal cord.[6]

TV news coverage[edit | edit source]

itv Meridian Tonight

  • "Late M.E. sufferer Sophia Mirza"
Video 1[7]
Video 2[8]
  • "UK: Psychiatric Industry Victim (Part2)"
Video 3[9]

Written media[edit | edit source]

BEFORE MY sister Sophia got Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), I had subconsciously developed a disparaging view of the disease. The little I knew about ME at the turn of the century was from how it had been portrayed in the tabloid press.[10]
The coroner ruled that the 32-year-old had died of complications due to myalgic encephalomyelitis, a landmark verdict in the UK. A neuropathologist told the court that Sophia’s spinal cord was inflamed, with three quarters of her sensory cells displaying significant abnormalities. Yet, as Sophia’s treatment by the medical establishment had underlined – she was forcibly sectioned for a spell in 2003 – many doctors handle ME (also known as postviral or chronic fatigue syndrome), as if it were a mental condition.[11]
Chronic fatigue syndrome has been given as an official cause of death for the first time in the UK. CFS, which is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), has occasionally been recorded on death certificates in the US and Australia but it is far from being accepted as an organic disease.[6]

Website commemoration[edit | edit source]

  • Sophia and M.E.[12] Site created by Sophia's mother Criona Wilson to commemorate her daughter's life, illness, and passing.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Senior, Richard (Jul 26, 2006). "Not, sadly, the first". New Scientist. Comment section. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  2. 2.02.12.2 "The Story of Sophia and M.E." www.investinme.org. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  3. "Neuropathological Report". www.sophiaandme.org.uk. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  4. 4.04.1 "The Inquest into the Death of Sophia Mirza". www.investinme.org. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  5. Mirza, Sophia. "Certified Copy of an Entry - Death Certificate". SophiaAndME.org.uk. 
  6. 6.06.16.26.3 Hooper, Rowan (Jun 16, 2006). "First official UK death from chronic fatigue syndrome". New Scientist. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  7. "Late M.E. sufferer Sophia Mirza - vid 1". YouTube. ozmevid. itv Meridian Tonight. Dec 21, 2008. 
  8. "Late M.E. sufferer Sophia Mirza - vid 2". YouTube. ozmevid. itv Meridian Tonight. Dec 21, 2008. 
  9. "UK: Psychiatric Industry Victim (Part2)". YouTube. thx1138mindlock. Mar 1, 2010 – via itv Meridian Tonight. 
  10. 10.010.1 Wilson, Roison (Jan 24, 2012). "I never imagined my sister would die". The Irish Times. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  11. 11.011.1 Harding, Louette (May 15, 2010). "'She went into a hellhole': A mother's account of her daughter's fatal illness". Mail Online. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  12. "Sophia and M.E." www.sophiaandme.org.uk. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis or M.E. has different diagnostic criteria to chronic fatigue syndrome; neurological symptoms are required but fatigue is an optional symptom.<ref name="ICP2011primer">{{Citation

Myalgic encephalomyelitis or M.E. has different diagnostic criteria to chronic fatigue syndrome; neurological symptoms are required but fatigue is an optional symptom.<ref name="ICP2011primer">{{Citation


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From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history