We finally know why Chuck Norris, 77, has been missing from our screens over the last four years. The Walker, Texas Ranger actor was forced to leave his film career behind to look after his wife, Gena, whose health has been on the decline.
For the last four years, 54-year-old Gena, has been living with agonizing pain and constant weakness after a routine check for rheumatoid arthritis went horribly wrong.
The couple believe that Gena's debilitating condition was caused by a chemical, gadolinium, in the injection she received before an MRI scan.
Gadolinium, a metal commonly found in dyes, is injected into the body before a scan to help radiologists easily obtain "crucial live-saving information," and spot abnormalities like tumors and inflammation. However, studies have shown that the chemical is retained by organs like the skin, brain and bones.
Hours after Gena's scan, she began to feel a burning sensation as if her "whole body was on fire." She hasn't had relief since, and had to return to the hospital to manage the severe symptoms she was experiencing, including rib and joint pain, breathing problems and muscle weakness.
Unfortunately, doctors weren't able to pinpoint what was wrong with her, so she had to turn to Google. A bit of research suggested that she could be suffering from gadolinium poisoning.
By the time Gena realized what was affecting her health, she had lost 15 pounds, was confined to a bed and had trouble eating. The couple eventually sought help from a clinic in Nevada, where Gena was treated for metal poisoning with a calcium EDTA IV drip.
The treatment helped her heal a bit, but she still has a long way to go before returning to normal.
Now, the Chuck and Gena are facing a new fight. They've filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the chemical which allegedly caused the poisoning.