Health Team

Raleigh father suffers from lupus

Posted April 27, 2010 2:29 p.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2010 2:33 p.m. EDT

 Ashley Bowman, a Forsyth county resident is looking for a new kidney after numerous life setbacks. Bowman is on the transplant list and in full-time dialysis. Despite what she's facing, she was determined to fulfill her dream.

— Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body, including skin, joints or organs. About 5 million people throughout the world have some form of lupus.

Eric Knight, 43, of Raleigh, is a stay-at-home father for his twin daughters. It's not the life he envisioned when he was accepted into the Police Academy in New York several years ago.

“After the first week of training is when I developed the blood clots. (That’s) when I was diagnosed,” Knight said.

The blood clots in Knight’s leg caused a pulmonary embolism that nearly killed him. The incident left him disabled.

“I think the biggest thing for me is just the chronic pain that I'm in daily,” Knight said.

The pain is mostly in his joints, and he suffers from frequent headaches and memory loss.

Knight has seen the symptoms of lupus before because the condition runs in his family.

“My older sister has lupus. My father and his brother both passed with lupus complications in their 40s. I have two cousins who've passed with lupus in their 20s,” he said.

The disease is most common among African-Americans and among women.

In some people, symptoms can grow worse and then improve, doctors said.

Knight takes 13 medications to keep the disease at bay, but there is no cure.