My son's doctor, a brilliant, forward thinking MD and researcher passed away last Thursday, June 19th 2015. To say we are devastated is just touching the tip of the iceberg. His death has left the PANDAS/PANS and Autism community with a huge hole that can not be filled. Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet gave families with children such as mine, HOPE for a full recovery.
When we first met him about a year and a half ago, we were immediately taken into his practice as part of the family. He treated my son and I with respect. My son immediately warmed up to him, sat on his lap and felt at home. Normally, my son would be afraid and not want to even speak to a doctor, let alone sit on his lap! I knew from that moment on, we were in good hands.
Dr. Bradstreet did lots of testing on Cole and based on the results and his extensive knowledge of the gut/brain connection, put us on a path to healing. Everything he prescribed was based on SCIENCE. Real SCIENCE backed by peer reviewed studies.
In the short year and a half we were with him, we were able to clean up my son's gut and reduce his vocal tics to a negligible amount. Any time we had a crisis moment, I was able to text Dr. Bradstreet and he would answer, even if it was the weekend or if he was out of town traveling for a conference. He never made us wait. I felt secure that no matter what, he would have a plan to get us out of the crisis.
Dr. Bradstreet dared to look into subjects that mainstream doctors would not consider. He was attacked for this and his methods and therapies were questioned or called pseudo-science. My comment to that is "If his therapies were based in pseudoscience, then why was he able to recover hundreds if not thousands of children over his 40 year career?" Please, answer me this! How was he able to provide remarkable gains in the lives of autistic children all over the world if his ideas and research were not proven?
Chemo therapy is "proven" to kill cancer cells. It's "real" science. However, it's a death sentence to many who choose to take this path in cancer treatment. There are MANY PROVEN pharmaceutical treatments out there that do more harm to the human body than good but we still trust and believe in them because the scientific community bases their effectiveness on studies that SAY they are effective.
What about real life? Are we not able to look at the real life results that this doctor has achieved? Are the testimonies of his patients (hundreds and hundreds of them) not sufficient to show that what he was providing these children was working? Is his work not worthy of studying?
I can tell you that before I even saw Dr. Bradstreet, I had changed my son's diet, added in supplements, vitamins, detoxed him from candida and more "pseudo-scientific" protocols for healing. What I did, took a a child that could not function and brought him back to a smart, happy and thoughtful 5 year old. Maybe my story is anecdotal but you know what? I DON'T CARE. I only care about results. You can throw study after study in my face and tell me nothing out there in the pharmaceutical world will be able to rid my son of his tics (that is what our neurologist told us). But when I am able to take a biomedical approach to his care and actually SEE RESULTS, then to me that is not pseudoscience. That is the REAL DEAL.
The more convincing part of this story is that my son is not anecdotal. Dr. Bradstreet was able to replicate his positive results in many many children by individualizing their treatments because he understood that every child is different and has a different set of genes and has been affected by their environment in unique ways.
Call him a quack, call him what you like but if you had a child that was not being served effectively by western medicine, I am sure you would seek alternative treatments. If these alternative treatments actually worked then I bet you would be a believer.
The difference with Dr. Bradstreet from some other alternative doctors out there is that he was educated in western medicine. He was an MD, MD (H), FAAFP. I have never encountered a mind more brilliant, more visionary and more dedicated to healing children in my life. When he suffered through the illness of his own son, he was changed. He realized that the western medical community was not offering solutions to the autism problem/epidemic that we face in this country. Western medicine is not providing any answers! There is no known cause for autism, only hypotheses. Dr. Bradstreet's love for his child overcame these boundaries and he sought answers where there were none. We must celebrate a person like this. A person that doesn't take the staus quo and accept it with its limitations. He pushed on, researched and made connections in areas of science that are not being currently explored.
Dr. Bradstreet was the ultimate advocate for our children. This loss is a tremendous one and we mourn him as if he were a part of our family. James Jeffrey Bradstreet was a man of God and a believer. Above all, he knew who he belonged to and he answered his call here on Earth. He served faithfully until the day he died.
At this point in time we do not know all the circumstances surrounding his death. What I can say is that he was found in the Rocky Broad River in NC with a gunshot wound to his chest. If this man was suffering silently from the intense pressure of his work, this was not apparent to his patients or his family.
I spoke to him on Tuesday June 16th on the phone and we were discussing further testing for my son. He was his cheerful, positive self. He joked with me as usual and gave me no indication that anything was "wrong". According to his family, there seems to be many questions surrounding his death that need answers. I will continue to pray that the answers are found. I will not speculate or add to the swirl of theories. All I can say is that our world has been rocked and our sense of security has been taken from us.
I trusted Dr. Bradstreet with my son's life and now we must find a replacement for someone who is irreplaceable.
REST IN PEACE Dr. Bradstreet, may your life's work not be forgotten.