A Boy, His Brain, and a Decades-Long Medical Controversy

No one could deny that Timothy was sick. But when doctors can’t agree on the cause of an illness, what happens to the patients trapped in limbo?

“Timothy was 10 years old when his personality changed overnight. A concussion during a family ski trip in December 2016 left him unsteady on his feet, but that was just the first sign something was wrong. The strawberry-blond boy who played on the chess team and looked forward to Mandarin lessons became withdrawn, obsessive, and suicidal. Back home in Marin County, California, he said “bad men” had surrounded his family’s house and were trying to get him.”

Seema Yasmin
Photograph: Jenna Garrett

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