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May 31st, 2016

Young Utah father, Tyson Cook, was recently found dead of an apparent gunshot wound to the head. He was reported missing the week of May 23rd following the birth of his second child. A Facebook page was started in hopes of locating Tyson alive but unfortunately his truck was found near the mountains. Shortly thereafter searchers found his body.

Tyson had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s encephalopathy two months before his untimely death. The family feels that the depression that often comes with HE/SREAT as well as perhaps the medications used to treat his condition lead to his suicide. You can read the family’s statement below.

Many people have asked how Tyson died. We want to share his story so that others can be aware of the rare disease that caused Tyson to take his life. We hope that through sharing his story it can bring more awareness to others and that we can stop the needless loss of life. The reason Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy is so rare is because it is often misdiagnosed.

Tyson has had auto immune issues since the moment he was brought into this world. Growing up he lived with the burden of Alopecia Areata and Vitiligo. These are just a few of the many auto immune diseases he struggled with.

On March 8th Tyson went home from work because his head hurt and was foggy. We found him in a catatonic state on the couch and rushed him to the hospital. Eventually he came back to his surroundings and was more aware; the doctors did multiple tests and told us nothing was wrong and he would be fine. Three weeks later he went into a comatose state so we rushed him to the ER. More tests were ran and with the opinion of multiple doctors he was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy: a rare disease that even the doctors who diagnosed him knew little about. He got started on medication (predominantly treated with steroids).

Due to his weak auto immune system it was inevitable that Tyson struggled with depression. The medication he was prescribed is known to cause and intensify thoughts of suicide. The doctors were grasping at strings with not knowing how to treat such a rare disease.

Tyson experienced a roller-coaster of symptoms, there were many times where he could not speak or express his emotions. Nodding his head yes or no became a main form of communication. He shared with us how he felt like he was watching himself from a third person perspective and wasn’t in control. One time he shared how he had won the lottery and purchased a home. He believed things that did not happen. The disease was taking over and destroying his mind, to the point that he took his own life.

The Tyson we all knew and loved wanted to live. Tyson didn’t kill himself. The disease did. We are sharing his story in hopes that more people will become aware of Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy and the terrible destruction it causes. The world needs more awareness, more research. We need to stop the needless loss of life!

We were blessed with some really good days we shared with Tyson the past two months since he was diagnosed. We were lucky to express love, laughter, and share time with him before he passed.

We are grateful for the amazing support we have had during this hard time. We have been amazed by the generosity, service, and love from all of you; some complete strangers that didn’t even know Tyson or our family.

Tyson left behind a beautiful amazing wife, a two year old son, and a newborn that was born the same week Tyson left us.

We ask you at this time to share his story and to help out his young family with medical and funeral service costs. We do not want his wife to have the burden of financial struggle on top of everything else she is going through at this time. Thank you so much.

Please read this link on Hashimotos Encephalopathy in the comments below and PLEASE SHARE this post!! We want to inform as many people as possible about this disease.

A Go Fund Me account has been started by the family to help Tyson’s young widow with funeral and other expenses resulting from his death. If you would like to contribute, please see the family’s Go Fund Me page. []

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AE Alliance
"The Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance promotes collaboration to improve care, find a cure and create community so that no one faces autoimmune encephalitis alone.

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