Mother Wants Others To Know About Rare And Deadly Birth Defect

An Eastern Carolina family is opening up about a tragedy that claimed the life of a loved one , in hopes that it might help other families.

They say it all happened because of a birth defect that can go undiagnosed in most patients.

Many times the symptoms mask themselves as average everyday ailments. And for Cindi Rudd of Chocowinity in Beaufort County, her son's diagnosis wasn't discovered until it was too late.

Doctors didn't know 18-year-old C.J. Rudd had a rare abnormality in his brain, called Arnold- Chiari Malformation, until after he had been in a car accident. An MRI showed the defect. His mother says C.J. never made it out of surgery. He died on May 26, 2009.

The defect happens in the base of the brain, where brain tissue extends in the spinal cord. This results in compression of the brain stem and spinal cord. Symptoms may never exist in some, or come in the form of headaches, sudden coughing, sneezing, neck pain, nausea and poor coordination. Doctors told C.J.'s mom the defect doesn't start showing itself until the late teens or early twenties.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 1 in 2,000 people could have a form of Chairi Malformation, but those who exhibit symptoms are much less.

Cindi says she wanted people to know about C.J. so they can be aware of this rare birth defect and get checked out if they have unexplained symptoms. An MRI is the only way to detect it.


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  • by Alyssa Location: Chocowinity on Jun 10, 2010 at 02:54 PM
    CJ, I wish you were still here, I miss you more than I ever thought possible. I still remember sitting in US History everyday, us trying to out do each other in everything. You were one of my best friends, and i know i will never know anyone else like you, even if i lived a 1000 years. Just to let everyone know, im getting a tattoo for you in august, a peace sign on the inside of my wrist in rastafarian colors! Love, Your Angry Midget Ninja (Alyssa)
  • by Lesley Avery Location: Kinston on May 29, 2010 at 02:18 PM
    CJ your smiling face will always be remembered!!!!! we will miss you sooooooo much!!!! I cant wait for you to help me cross the streets of heaven!!!!
  • by Sarah Ann Location: Bath, NC on May 28, 2010 at 10:20 AM
    CJ we all miss you. I love you and always think about you.
  • by Cindi Rudd Location: Chocowinity NC on May 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM
    I am so glad I did this, it really opened MY EYES to all the suffering. WOW I just wish I could take all this pain away, you are all in my my thoughts and we will never stop fighting !!
  • by A Friend on May 15, 2010 at 06:57 AM
    REST EASY CJ! WE LOVE YOU
  • by Anne Location: Greensboro on May 14, 2010 at 09:16 PM
    Sorry to hear of your loss. ASAP.org is having a walk in Greensboro NC on Sat June 12th. Details will be on their website. www.asap.org
  • by Angie Location: itasca tx on May 14, 2010 at 08:47 PM
    I do believe that everyone should know about this!! My friend did not lose his life he took it!!The pain is over whelming. He could not take it anymore. i do not blame him for his actions.. I do not suffer from this but saw it first had and it is horrible!! I am on a mission to get this disease out there and know about and hope the doctors will take it more seriously. CJ and John will never be forgot and hope that the post will help.. Do not judge till you know the facts.
  • by still missing him Location: grimesland, nc on May 14, 2010 at 03:11 PM
    LOVE YOU CJ...REST IN PEACE SWEETHEART...
  • by Beth Location: Craven County on May 14, 2010 at 02:05 PM
    To "ead", read Lynn's post. She states that "Sadly, often Chiari is not discovered until there is an accident, and complications from the Chiari result in tragedy." This is what happened with CJ. He was in a car accident and suffered a head injury. The Chiari then resulted in the tragic loss of his life. Get your facts straight before you post!! Make sure you know the whole story! To Cindi, thank you for getting this information out to the public. Know that CJ is not forgotten.
  • by Jess Location: Greenville on May 14, 2010 at 10:41 AM
    http://www.conquerchiari.org/index.htm is the site for the Walk. They asked for volunteers to sponser one in their area, I assume no one was willing to do the work here.
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