June 21, 2004 by

Charlene Singh

17 comments

Categories: Misc.

Charlene Singh, who is believed to be the only U.S. resident with the human form of mad cow disease, died in her sleep on June 20. She was 25.

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is the human strain of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a brain-wasting disease found in cows. People who eat meat from infected cows may develop vCJD. Younger people are more likely to develop the disease, which has an incubation period of 10 to 15 years.

There is no cure.

Singh likely contracted vCJD in Britain, where she was born and raised. She and her family moved to the United States in 1992.

Singh was once a vibrant young woman. The Ft. Lauderdale resident earned a business degree from the University of Miami in May 2001. Six months later, she began to experience memory loss and changes in her behavior. American doctors prescribed antidepressants, but her health continued to decline. Soon she had difficulty walking and using fine motor skills.

Singh’s family sent her to Britain for a second opinion, and the doctors there diagnosed her as a probable vCJD case. Medical workers attempted several experimental treatments, but her health eventually deteriorated to the point where she couldn’t speak, eat or move.

An autopsy has been scheduled to obtain a definitive diagnosis of her brain-wasting illness.

17 Responses to Charlene Singh

  1. Natasha

    Charlene,
    I remember the days when we used to play together in London. I have always kept you in my prayers and kept memories close to my heart. You are one of Gods wonderful and loving children and I wish I could have been with you but I know that God is looking after you now for all of us. Love you so much and hope that you look down and know that these words are sent with love.
    Natasha xxx

  2. Hong

    Charlene,
    My fondest innocent memories of growing up you, my close friend and my next door neighbour before moving to America. Those memories will always be with me.
    You are part of my life.. dancing and singing to madonna and kylie and riding the bycyle in the hall way and plating braids in our hair to make it wavy the next morning. Our little adventures on the way to school and visits to the sweet shop those sweet playful days I’ll never forget.
    We even had our our secret code language and chatted outside our bedroom windows. You will always be the special happy fun loving, bright girl next door to me. I will miss you very much. God bless you. Rest in peace.
    With love, Hong and Yeung Family XXX

  3. Nichelle

    Charlene, I remember going to Miramar High School with you and going to your graduation and you coming to mine. I remember us hanging out during the summer with Chris. I’m glad you got to meet my then boyfriend, now husband, Surin, and I wish this didnt have to happen to someone so successful and gregarious. You were always there for me as my friend and I truly miss u much. My prayers go out to you and your family. You are an angel ….love you.

  4. Sarita Stanford-Guy

    Charlene,
    Tremendous sadness has come over my heart since I heard the news of your passing. I had no idea that you left footprints behind two years ago until this very year. I searched for you on several occasions on myspace hoping to find you. Charlene, do you remember all of the silly times in aerobics class at Miramar Highschool? You were very quiet, kind, and beautiful on the inside and out. “Friends forever” See you in heaven.
    Dear Angels,
    Take care of my friend Charlene for she now lies amongst you. Let her spirits live on and forever be remembered in our hearts too. I am grateful to have known her for the short time that she was here. Goodbye sweet Charlene…. You will always be my friend. Like you said in my year book “I’ so glad we became friends.” Lots of Love,
    Sarita

  5. Charlene Warner

    i really didn’t know her, but when i heard of her illeness, it brought great saddness to my heart and i hope her soul is resting in peace.
    love Charlene

  6. SueAnne

    Dear Charlene……………….
    I didn’t really know you but I heard of you on the Internet that vCJD killed you. So I hope you rest in peace and it’s soooooooooooooo sad that you are gone cuz you are an all- rounder; smart, friendly, athletic………….. anything. And your family misses you very very much and May God Bless You and Keep You.
    We will always miss you. *hugs* ^-^

  7. Sarita Stanford-Guy

    Charlene,
    My thoughts ran on you today. Though you are gone, you will never be forgotten. I will continue to pay tribute to you. You were such a good person. Always in my heart…….

  8. Sarita Stanford - Guy

    Hi Charlene,

    Just wanted to say hi and to let you know that you are still thought of….continue to be at peace. Xoxo

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