A bizarre Ilford Recorder story of how a rare life-threatening medical condition was diagnosed has been followed up by the national press.
The amazing tale centred on 36-year-old restaurant worker Mark Gurrieri who was introduced to Dr Chris Britt by a mutual friend during a lunch shift.
When they shook hands Dr Britt immediately noticed that Mark’s hands were large and spongy-feeling and he had big facial features.
The brief chance encounter was enough for the GP to realise Mark had acromegaly – a life-threatening disease that is caused by a benign brain tumour.
Acromegaly causes an excess of growth hormone and can have serious effects if left undiagnosed, including problems with vision, diabetes, blood pressure and even premature death.
It affects just three people in every million and is the condition responsible for giantism when it occurs in children.
It is believed that Mark had the condition for up to five years before it was diagnosed. Ilford Recorder editor Chris Carter said: “Amazingly, the doctor had not seen a case of acromegaly since he was a medical student.
“It’s a great story and it was taken up by a lot of the nationals – the Express, Mirror, Times, Mail, Sun, Star, Telegraph, Channel Four, the BBC and various magazines.”