rat lungworm disease

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Peter Aldo

Pete Thatcher

Newspaper Article 1:
"Disabled man gets misdiagnosed twice by the Hilo Medical Center and charged with 3 “DUI’s” while unknowingly “driving under the Influence of rat lungworm.”

“My name is Peter Aldo. I have been suffering from rat lungworm disease for almost 3 years. It damaged my nervous system, eyesight and balance and gave me what appears to be mini-seizures that cause me to flicker in and out of consciousness. The doctors say it was like having a stroke in the beginning. I was very confused and not able to think normally - especially in the the very beginning. I only recovered partly in the past 3 years and am still very ill.

I was wrongly accused of 3 “DUI” driving offenses during the onset of my illness and also wrongly diagnosed twice at the Hilo Medical Center with "drug use" and then ”drug abuse” just because the doctor could not figure out that I had rat lungworm disease and yet chose to diagnose me with something convenient for him .

No alcohol was involved and there was no evidence of drug abuse. Dr. Martell, head of the hospital, finally wrote an addendum to my hospital records saying "there was no evidence of drug abuse, patient had undiagnosed rat lungworm and eosinophilic meningitis" .

It took over a year and huge amount of effort writing and calling while sick before Dr. Martell, the head of the hospital, finally corrected my records. This whole time I was in trouble with the law for suspected “DUI’s”. The last thing I needed was faulty hospital records saying I was abusing drugs! After 2 years of going back and forth to court, I was finally found not guilty of DUI’s. But, this was after a lengthy, stressful, expensive, and draining court battle while I should have been resting and trying to heal instead.

The first so-called “DUI” incident happened when I suffered a seizure and blacked out behind the wheel. This was before I was diagnosed. I did not know what was wrong with me. This is after going to Urgent Care and Hilo Medical Center several times to find out why I was so sick. They finally did a lumbar puncture and diagnosed me with rat lungworm disease - I was in the hospital for about a week.

The second “DUI” incident was a few days after I came out of the hospital from being treated. I thought I was OK to drive. I felt sick but not unable to drive. Someone reported me weaving on the road and called the police. I don’t recall driving poorly, the police never saw me driving poorly, and the guy that called the police on me was not right in the head . I know this because he later committed suicide and could not testify.

During the third arrest, my truck simply broke down and there was no poor driving happening at all. I was just revving the engine trying to get my broken-down truck off the road, but the transmission was not working. The same police officers recognized me from before and acted violent when I was exiting from my vehicle at their request. They threw me on the ground, ripped my shirt, and pointed a taser at me - and all that had happened was that my truck had broken down!

If you get charged with a DUI, a thing called “ALDRO” (Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office) takes your license and then has a hearing (separate from the regular court hearing). The ADLRO judge dismissed all 3 of these so-called DUI's after he saw my doctors’ records and doctors’ letters about my condition. They then returned my license promptly!

But Mitch Roth, head Prosecutor in Hilo did not respect the ADLRO hearing decision and kept me fighting in court for over 2 years DESPITE all of the medical evidence and doctor's letters saying that rat lungworm disease was the cause of my poor driving, - and NOT drugs. After 2 years of being miserably sick and fighting in court and spending money, I was finally found NOT GUILTY of these so-called “DUI’s”!

Prosecutor Mitch Roth just did not want to lose the court case . He showed no respect for the decision of the ADLRO judge who, out of fairness, had returned my license in the beginning. Mitch Roth also had no respect for the medical records and doctors’ letters I had in my support. He stubbornly made me go through this so called “3 DUI” battle for over 2 years while I should have been resting and trying to heal. I ended up pleading no contest to “wreckless driving” because after 2 years, I just wanted it to be over! But I am NOT Guilty of wreckless driving! I was not even aware of how impaired I really was. I was sick.

In the beginning, I was so “out-of-it” and "zombie-like" because I had worms crawling through my brain and also had eosinophilic meningitis from rat lungworm disease. The doctors said it was like having a stroke. I had to relearn how to type, talk, and walk without falling down. That’s why they thought I was on drugs. I am still seriously messed up now. I NOW know that I should not have been driving, but at the time I simply was just mentally unaware of how bad off I was. I was not aware of how unaware I was due to the brain trauma I was suffering from. That is hard concept to understand. In other words, I was not conscious of how how unconscious I was.

I feel ignored and really let down by the medical and legal system here in Hawaii. It was very uncaring and ignorant. They put a very sick person through a huge amount of needless stress.

Rose from the Mayors office and Jen Ruggles, Council Woman kindly wrote and talked to the prosecutor on my behalf, but the prosecutor would not back down.

I started going to the Rat Lungworm Support Group in Keaau for help with this problem . That is when I first met Elena Capatu, organizer of the support group. Elena told me she and Dr. Martell, head of the Hilo Medical Center, were “on my side” and would help me. That was just TALK. My lawyer told me we had to get a doctor to talk to the prosecutor and explain the realities of rat lungworm disease and how it can affect the mental and physical status of someone. So we asked Dr. Martell to talk to the prosecutor. He told me he talked to him, but I have no idea what he talked to him about because the prosecutor did not change his mind, and I was still being charged with theses bogus “DUI’s”. Nothing had changed!

My lawyer then said that if Dr. Martell, head of the Hilo Medical Center, testified in court as to what rat lungworm disease does to peoples’ cognition, then that would likely end this charade and the court and prosecutor would back down. So again I went to the Rat Lungworm Disease support group seeking help. I reached out to Dr. Martell to ask him to testify in court about how this disease affects people, so it could be explained to the court.

During the rat lungworm disease group in Keaau, Dr. Martell said many times that the disease can make people appear and act drunk. My lawyer and I wanted him to tell the court this. Dr. Martell refused to testify and just said he "did all he could do" which was apparently nothing. I also asked some of my other doctors to help explain to the prosecutor what this disease can do, but no one wanted to be involved.

I went to Dr. Natalylia Holmes who supposedly is specializing in rat lungworm disease. I met her at the rat lungworm disease support group and made her my principle care provider. I asked her for help but she would not even talk to me. It took 3 days to put together a letter and copies of my medical/court records to show her what I was dealing with. She just blew me off in a voicemail. (shes not my principle care provider any more, of course)

To add insult to injury, Dr. Martell, head of the Hilo Med. Center told me he thought my lawyer, Peter Steinburg was "taking me for a ride"!!!!

But After 2 years and a huge amount of stress while being seriously ill, the court finally found me not guilty of these so-called DUI's! My lawyer, Peter Steinberg , is a good man. He took on this case because he saw the injustice and also how sick I was. Unlike what Dr. Martell said, my lawyer charged me very little money for all that time spent going to court.. He did not “take me for a ride”. He did not even charge me for the countless hours he spent trying to do Dr Martell’s job by trying to get the prosecutors to understand the reality of this disease! On the other hand, Dr. Martell did nothing to help me and acted like I was wasting his time.

I am very upset for having to go through this and getting practically zero help from the medical community. The legal system needs to be educated as to what this disease can do to protect other sick people from being mistreated like they did me. The medical establishment failed miserably by not doing this.

I was so sick and tired of fighting in court that I finally ended up pleading no contest to “reckless driving” so they would dismiss the so called bogus “DUI” charges. I just wanted it to end. I was not driving recklessly though! I was so sick and confused and mentally disturbed from CNS damage and eosinophilic meningitis due to the parasites, to even think clearly or make good decisions. Like I wrote before I was unaware of how unaware I was at the time. Nothing like that ever happened to me before.

So that is what happened to me when I drank some fresh vegetable juice from the Makuu Market and got rat lungworm disease! It ruined my good health and it hasn't gotten much better in the last 3 years.

I am still seriously disabled because of it. I just want people to know what the medical community and the legal system put a rat lungworm disease sufferer through here in Hawaii - and how some serious changes are needed to prevent other seriously ill people from being ignorantly dealt with in the future. I love my home here in Hawaii, but many “leaders” of the community are not leaders at all.

The fact that my experience got covered up, does not help the public. It hurts the work of spreading knowledge about what rat lungworm disease can do. My doctor Jacqueline Hahn ND had gotten infected with rat lungworm in the past. She is a very good doctor in my opinion! She told me that she had a very similar experience as me when she blacked out in the middle of the road when driving due to rat lungworm disease. So this kind of stuff can happen to anyone and people should know this.

I am writing this because I am not a victim. I refuse to me victimized. I am a survivor and my experience will not be censored. I have had enough of my time wasted because of this disease and the establishment. I just want to move on now and try to heal as best I can. I never expected to be thrown into a completely dysfunctional, immature, inhumane, politcal situation just because I contracted a serious case of rat lungworm disease that they want to keep quiet for financial reasons.

From listening to other rat lungworm survivors, I am far from the only person who is very perturbed over how they have been treated after catching this disease.

Peter Aldo”

Newspaper Article 2.
"How my rat lungworm disease experience and dozens of public comments got censored by the Hilo Medical Center."

My original ratlungworm disease “DUI” experience described above was removed (censored) by the Hilo Medical Center from an online newspaper called "Big Island Now". The article about my experience was in the online newspaper for just a few days, but then got “mysteriously” deleted.

I later found out that the head organizer of the Rat Lungworm Disease “Support” Group in Keaau, Elena Capatu , who works for the Hilo Medical Center, was responsible for getting it removed from the online paper. She told me so to my face at the Rat Lungworm Support Group .

Elena Capatu is head of Marketing, Legislative, and Public Affairs at the Hilo Medical Center. She is a lobbyist for the hospital.. Here job has little or nothing to do with health. Establishing a good image for the hospital is her job above all else .

I tried to get support from her and Dr. Martell, head of the Hilo Medical Center. They first told my they were on my side and would help, but then ended up censoring my factual story. Elena Cabuto wrongly claimed my experience was an “opinion piece”!

But all this really happened. What happened at the hospital, the rat lungworm disease support group, and the legal system - did happen! This is not an opinion. I have proof to back up it all up: court records, police records, my lawyer, doctors notes and records, family, and witnesses at the rat lungworm disease support group .

But it was was not JUST me who got censored! They censored the public! Dozens of people’s remarks and input about my experience got deleted when my story was deleted from Big Island Now online!

The public was saying stuff like “the prosecutor should be going after rapists and murderers and not sick people”. That is the kind of stuff that got censored.

When a hospital can control what the public says and what the public is exposed to , that is called corruption and propaganda. I also tried several other news outlets but no newspaper would print it simply because it shed a poor light on the hospital and legal system. (small town politics).

I am not at all sorry if this letter offends anyone's’ egos. I am not going to pretend what happened to me in the last years did not happen. Thanks for reading my story.

Peter Aldo

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

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