Chuck Norris is known for being a tough guy, especially on TV. But now his wife Gena is revealing that for the past five years she’s been, quite literally, toughing it out after what was supposed to be a routine MRI scan.
Gena explained to CBS San Francisco that she’s been “to hell and back” after being injected with medical dye for several MRI scans. She recalled what happened to the outlet:
“I went in for a routine MRI, checking for a positive rheumatoid factor and during that time I was actually given three MRIS in the course of eight days.”
She said she specifically asked the medical professionals at the imaging center if the dye, which is gadolinium, was safe.
“They said yes.”
Gena said she knew something was wrong almost immediately, but she didn’t know what was the cause:
“I started to feel the effects immediately, not connecting anything. After the third scan, I was definitely noticing that something was wrong. it started out with this intense burning inside my body that I can’t describe like someone has poured acid on your tissues.”
She told CBS San Francisco the pain continued to increase, and it wasn’t until she woke up in the middle of the night to excruciating pain that she knew she was not okay:
“I am a healthy woman. I’m the lady on the ‘Total Gym’ infomercials next to him. I’ve been fit all my life. So to have anything happen to me like this it was a nightmare.”
Her husband immediately took her to the hospital that night. According to Gena, she was brought to the emergency room five more times within the next several weeks and was hospitalized multiple times. She said:
“With each new visit, the burning was spreading.”
Now, she is taking her health problems to court, claiming that the medical dye gadolinium poisoned her. According to CBS San Francisco, she’s filed a lawsuit against San Francisco medical device manufacturers McKesson Corp. In the lawsuit, Gena alleges that the dye has continued to affect her body, causing crippling pain and burning sensations. She told the outlet:
“It’s been a rough five years.”
But just like her husband’s character in “Walker, Texas Ranger,” she isn’t letting anything stop her:
“They poisoned the wrong lady, when they poisoned me.”
The research surrounding gadolinium, however, has yet to point to a link between it and any harmful effect — that is, other than in people with existing kidney problems.
According to Inside Radiology, Gadolinium is a metal that is used in “contrast media” or “dyes” and is used to provide clearer imaging in one in three MRIs. Very few effects are experienced by patients, but the most common are temporary headaches and nausea. CBS San Francisco reported that in May that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could not uncover any evidence suggesting Gadolinium is harmful to the body.
Gena’s law firm, Cutter Law, however, has reportedly filed multiple lawsuits since Gena’s, all for people who claim to have been poisoned by gadolinium. Gena’s attorney, Todd Walburg, told CBS:
“One of the problems is this is a very misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed condition.”
That lawsuit addresses that issue, claiming that gadolinium poisoning is unreported because blood and urine tests for the dye only just became accessible — in other words, doctors were not aware to look for something wrong after the dye is administered.
Gena said her treatment for the poisoning has cost her family millions, and she is claiming some medical manufacturers knew the risk surrounding gadolinium.
She is seeking over $10 million in damages, according to CBS San Francisco.
It’s unclear whether the defending parties have commented on the suit as of Monday afternoon.