John Manzanares (Manzy) has been employed with Denver County Sheriff's Department for 5 years. He is a husband and father of two, 1 son and 1 daughter.
He has not been cleared by his doctor to work or drive until further notice. In order to get him the correct tests, treatments and answers he has been referred out of state as soon as possible.
The Manzanares family is asking for help to get him tested and treated.
On January 22, 2020 Manzy called into work after a trip to the little clinic that confirmed he had walking pneumonia. After this illness, his health was never the same. He began developing abdominal pain, migraines, numbness on the left side, chest pain, and spells of unconsciousness. Manzy had a cardiology appointment and he was told his heart was fine.
On April 1st, Manzy began to have a cough that led to a Covid-19 test that came back negative on the 2nd.
Manzy was at work and started having chest pain, abdominal pain, lightheadedness, and was feeling clammy. He went to the bathroom and fell unconscious. After regaining consciousness, he was told he either had a stroke, heart attack or seizure. However, after all tests (blood work, cat scan, xray’s, and MRI) were done in the emergency department, no explanation could be found. He was instructed to see a neurologist (Saint Anthony Hospital) for further testing. His primary doctor did a blood panel and found the liver count to be elevated.
Over the next couple of months, Manzy also developed several food allergies that lead to three emergency room treatments. Paramedics had used an epinephrine pen each time. This fall he became deathly allergic to peanuts and allergic to avocado as well...foods had enjoyed until a few months ago. On his last anaphylactic reaction they had to transport him from the emergency room to the trauma room because of a blood pressure issue. Manzy continued to work at his position as a deputy even though he had been advised to take time off and rest. He had to work because he had run out of sick time and vacation time. He also worked mandatory overtime. Manzy resorted to pain medications and caffeine to get him through his shifts.
Manzy last worked on October 15, 2020 at Denver Health Medical Center, his assigned post. He got into uniform the night of the 15th and his wife walked him to his car, kissed him goodbye and told him to come home safe. He then told her that he really wasn't feeling well, and she asked if she needed to drive him. He said he would be okay, and that he would call if anything changed. After exiting the highway onto a local avenue, he briefly blacked out behind the wheel, and he regained consciousness as his car drifted into the dirt. He called his wife, and then called for emergency help. He became a hospital patient in the emergency room he was scheduled for work duty at.
Manzy was unable to go back to work because of strict doctor’s orders not to return to work until cleared by a neurologist. Manzy has not been cleared because of tests that need to be completed to look into genetic diseases called porphyria (there are 8 different porphyrias), and he still has episodes that require emergency room treatments with IV glucose and pain medication treatments. Manzy has a team including neurology, urology, cardiology, hematology and physiology working around the clock brain storming, running numerous tests and trying to get him to the Mayo clinic.
The porphyrias are rare genetic diseases. His original diagnosis was for AIP/Acute Intermittent Porphyria and then that was switched to EPP/Erythropoietic Protoporphyria which did show up in genetic testing. Could it be that he has two porphyrias? Further testing is needed for this possibility. There are no doctors (specialists) available in Colorado that specialize in the treatment of porphyria. Further testing must be done in Florida at the Mayo clinic that specializes in it to ensure the best and most accurate life saving treatment plan can be created.
In addition to porphyria, there are issues with Manzy’s cervical and lumbar spine. CT scans and MRIs show that there are degenerative changes with his cervical spine which are likely the cause of upper body weakness and pain. The lumbar degeneration causes back pain, leg pain and weakness, but it is the porphyria that is the most serious issue because it can be life threatening. If an acute porphyria episode is not treated properly, it can lead to permanent neurological damage or even death, and because it is a rare disease, it is often not treated properly or overlooked altogether.
Manzy wants so badly to get better and return to the job as a deputy for the Denver Sheriff’s Department. Being in law enforcement is something he had as a career goal since he was in his teenage years. He is hoping for answers so he can regain his health and get back to the ability to function in the capacity he has had in the past.
Manzy’s last hospital visit was on February 9, 2020 where he was experiencing chest pain, abdominal pain, back pain traveling down his right leg, lightheadedness, numbness on the left side of the body, feeling clammy, and had not kept solid food down for two days.
Manz’s wife is currently working two jobs to help make ends meet while hospital bills, monthly bills and the trip to Florida to the Mayo clinic is on their plate. Family member has stepped up to help Manzy with the kiddos while his wife is working. Both of their kiddos are continuing online school training.
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