Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Teen who cries blood can't find work or go to school

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A Tennessee man with a rare medical condition is asking doctors for help. Michael Spann cries blood.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The phenomenon began happening when Spann was 22. He said that while walking down the stairs in his home, blood started to pour from his eyes, nose and mouth. After that, the phenomenon occurred almost daily.

The problem is so horrifying to others that he says he cannot keep a job. Every job he gets, he is dismissed because coworkers cannot handle the sight of him bleeding. He hasn't even been able to attend college. The only good news is that the bleeding only seems to occur once or twice a week now, he says.

Doctors have not been able to determine the cause of the problem, partly because he does not have health insurance and can't afford much testing.

As he told The Tennessean newspaper, "Obviously, I can't be a waiter and work in any public thing because you are bleeding."

Span has become reclusive, fearing now to even leave his house for embarrassment.

His mother, Peggy Spann, told the paper, "I have kids that ride by on bikes in this neighborhood who point and say, ‘That's the guy who bleeds." She also said that her son has encountered situations where he is talking to another person and the bleeding starts.

"They haven't seen it before, and it will scare the living daylights out of them," his mother told the paper. "It is very frustrating not to be able to treat or even get some kind of remission for it."

It is possible that Spann has a rare medical condition known as haemolacria. It's chief symptom is the sufferer cries tears of blood. It is a rare condition but it can be caused by many illnesses, most commonly a tumor of some form. Environmental conditions as well as physical injuries can also cause haemolacria. Sufferers can have multiple episodes per day and they can be triggered by stress.

Historically, such episodes have been associated with the supernatural and with stigmata. In more modern times, doctors have been able to discern causes in most cases, but of the rare cases around the world, some such as Spann's, remain undiagnosed.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)