A Mount Herbert man battling rare illness grateful for support of friends, family

David Mutch, middle, with his wife Jeni and two sons Luke, right, and Jack. David is battling a rare illness known as amyloidosis. Melissa Heald photo.
David Mutch, middle, with his wife Jeni and two sons Luke, right, and Jack. David is battling a rare illness known as amyloidosis. Melissa Heald photo.
By Melissa Heald
Oct. 14, 2014

Last fall, 40-year-old David Mutch of Mount Herbert started to feel odd. He was extremely tired and he had no energy.
Numerous tests done over the next few months found nothing, but he kept getting worse.
Then, on June 13 while at supper at his parent’s place, he collapsed.
Once he was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, it was discovered he had a heart attack.
The case was a mystery. He didn’t have any of the signs that usually associated with an attack, so he was kept in the hospital. But by the second day, a doctor diagnosed him with amyloidosis.
“It’s such a rare thing that I have and for him to figure it out that quick, I thought it was pretty impressive,” said David.
Amyloidosis causes the body to produce too much protein. The protein attacks an organ in the body. In David’s case, it was his heart.
About 200-300 people in Canada have the disease and it is usually commonly found in patients who are 80 years old or older, said David.
Eventually, David was sent to Halifax to confirm the diagnosis. There, he received an ICD, which acts as both a defibrillator and a pacemaker.
David was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a form of cancer – and he goes once a week for chemotherapy to treat both conditions.
With no cure for amyloidosis, all the doctors can do is try to control it enough for him to receive a heart transplant, said David.
David used to be a healthy, active person. Now he needs to nap at least a couple times a day and he can’t walk far.
David and his wife Jeni have been married for 14 years. They have two sons, nine-year-old Luke and four-year old Jack.
The couple are grateful for all the support they have received from friends, family and co-workers over the past few months.
The owner of Wendell Taylor’s Garage in Stratford, David has been unable to work since his diagnosis. But thanks to the employees at the garage, the business is still running smoothly.
“We have terrific people there,” said David.
Jeni had to return to work in August, so family and friends brought meals three times a week to help with the transition.
They were lucky to be in a good place financially when David fell ill, but the costs are adding up.
There are trips to Halifax and one to Toronto recently to see specialists at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, said David.
That’s why a group of Jeni’s friends organized a benefit dance, for her husband on Oct. 18.
At first, he didn’t really want to do the benefit, but after some thought, he knew people just wanted to help, said David.
“It’s great too because we don’t know long term and what life is going to be like. Even if it’s not use for medical expenses we know the boys will be taken care of,” said Jeni, fighting back tears.