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Local man’s success with Hep C treatment going on tour

Local man’s success with  Hep C treatment going on tour


Local man’s success with Hep C treatment going on tour

Patterson headed to California conference Steve Patterson wants to tell anyone who will listen about the success he has had in his battle with Hepatitis C. And in August, he’ll have the chance to spread the word all the way to the West Coast.

“Gilead Sciences, Inc., of California has invited me, all expenses paid, to a oneday conference to meet with their scientists and other Gilead employees about Harvoni.”

After living with Hep C for over a decade, Patterson started taking Harvoni, and after four months of treatment he’s now completely free of the virus.

“It worked,” Patterson said in an interview earlier this year. “It’s gone. It cured it.” The former West Memphis resident came forward with his disease and was featured in a 2014 article in The Evening Times in an effort to encourage people with Hep C to seek treatment.

Patterson was a truck driver when he was diagnosed in 2003 with Hepatitis C. Unfortunately, he didn’t pay it any mind at the time.

“The doctor told me I had it and I was like ‘well, what is that?’” Patterson said.

“He said at some point it would destroy my liver. But I didn’t take it seriously because I didn’t feel bad at the time.”

Hepatitis C is a viral disease mostly transmitted through the exchanges of blood. The disease causes inflammation of the liver which if left untreated can be fatal. It wasn’t until he started to experience severe fatigue that he knew something was seriously wrong with him.

“I used to drive a truck 1,000 miles a day every day,” Patterson said. “Then all of a sudden, I’d have to go to bed after 300 miles. It cut me down that hard. I just couldn’t push it any more.”

By 2011 he had been to the hospital eight times.

“My life went downhill fast,” Patterson said. “I got tested again and they said my levels were up and they said my liver was at Stage 4. Stage 5 is death. I was knocking on death’s door.”

Then he heard about another treatment called Harvoni. Patients on Harvoni require one pill a day and have been cured in as little as eight weeks with no side effects.

“I heard about it and thought ‘maybe this will work for me,’” Patterson said.

He took the pill once a day every morning for four months and is convinced the drug saved his life.

“I noticed that after I got through with the meds that my energy level came back up,” Patterson said. “I felt I was better. I felt the energy come back. I would be in a bad way if it wasn’t for this drug.”

Patterson now runs a support group for people with Hepatitis C. He said he wants everyone who has the disease to know about the drug.

“I want everyone to know that if you have Hep C, there is hope,” Patterson said. “Hep C is very serious. It kills people. If you have it, you need to talk to your doctor and get on this drug. I’m very fortunate.

So if I can get this out to the public, we can save lives.”

The Aug. 22 conference with Gilead will give him another chance to do just that.

“Plus, I get to hear speakers on Harvoni, too,” Patterson

said. “It’s my goal to

learn as much as I can while there and bring that information back here to hopefully help other people still suffering from Hep C.”

By Ralph Hardin

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