Rare condition causes Tenn. man to bleed from his eyes
Doctors have been unable to determine a cause and they say exploratory procedures can do more harm than good
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Michael Spann was coming down the stairs of his Antioch home the first time he cried blood.
The bleeding came with a sudden flash of pain. “I felt like I got hit in the head with a sledgehammer,” he said. “I never felt anything like it.” He doubled over, holding his head. The expression on his mother’s face told him something was wrong.
Blood was streaming from his eyes, nose and mouth — a scenario that began to occur daily when he was 22. Almost seven years later, the bleeding occurs less frequently — about once or twice a week. The headaches have never gone away. Spann wants to know why he bleeds — an answer that he may never get. Doctors have been unable to determine a cause, he said. A neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic told him he had a very rare idiopathic condition, a disease without an apparent cause. He wonders just how rare the condition is, especially since a teenager from East Tennessee with similar symptoms was the subject of news stories four years ago.