Feb 13, 2020

What Does A Doctor Do When Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Disease?

After spending 50 years treating children who were living with cancer, 76-year-old former pediatric oncologist, Dr. Keith Waters, was no stranger to hearing bad news.

Persistent migraines and memory loss had suddenly become a regular occurrence in Keith’s life, and with this in mind, he and his beloved Heather visited a neurologist and prepared themselves for the worst.

“When you reach our age and you start getting constant headaches you naturally think it might be something nasty like brain cancer because that’s one of the things that people at our age get,” said Dr. Waters.

Thankfully, scans of Keith’s brain did not reveal any cancer or tumors but the feeling of relief was short-lived as Keith and Heather began to share their other concerns with their neurologist.

“Keith had also been having trouble with his memory,” said Heather.

“He was starting to forget names and places and things like that, there were a number of small things that kids and grandkids noticed that indicated that there was something wrong.”

The neurologist recommended that Keith go and speak to someone who specialised in memory deterioration and the results of that consultation revealed answers that proved difficult for Keith to deal with.

“When they said it was Alzheimer’s disease, I was really worried. I just didn’t want to become a burden on anyone,” said Dr. Waters.

Initially, Keith struggled to be optimistic about his diagnosis, and his wife Heather revealed that Keith asked her to call their children and tell them the bad news.

“Things were really not good at the start,” said Heather.

“I remember we were driving home and he made me ring each of the kids and tell them about it and he told me to tell them that things were never going to get better and only get a lot worse.”

After coming to terms with his diagnosis, Keith decided that he wanted to speak to some experts and focus on living his life in the same manner that he had been before the diagnosis.

“We knew that there was no cure for Alzheimer’s, but I spoke with Associate Professor David Darby and he suggested I start taking a product called Souvenaid® that can apparently help to slow the deterioration of memory,” said Dr. Waters.  

Souvenaid is a food for special medical purposes that nutritionally supports memory function in early Alzheimer’s disease. It contains a unique combination of nutrients, which supports the growth of connections within the brain, known as synapses.

“We were very cynical, I must admit,” said Heather.

“We thought, here we go, another silly thing that would probably cost a lot of money, we even wondered if the Professor who recommended it actually had shares in the company.”

It has now been three years since Keith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and despite the couple’s initial skepticism, Souvenaid has become an integral part of Keith’s morning routine.

“I have it in the morning with my breakfast while I do my crosswords, and to be honest I take it because it’s the only thing that works,” said Dr. Waters.

“I have been taking Souvenaid for three years now, and the specialists who I check in with have told me that my condition has not deteriorated in that time.”

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The stability of Keith’s condition has actually prompted him to try and encourage friends who are living with Alzheimer’s to give Souvenaid a try in the hopes that it will benefit them in the same way.

“We have a friend who also has Alzheimer’s whose condition appears to be getting worse every time we see him, Keith always pulls out the packet of Souvenaid and tells him to give it a go,” said Heather.

“We also have another friend in England who is a doctor that was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Keith has sent her all the information about Souvenaid as well.”

In the three years following Keith’s diagnosis, he has been able to maintain a meaningful lifestyle thanks to the love and support of his wife Heather and the rest of the family.

Keith spends his days alongside Heather tending to their garden and maintaining his pool, and he also enjoys regular games of golf with a group of friends.

“We have been very lucky in many ways, especially with the lovely family that we have. They understand that Keith can forget things but they take Keith out and do things with him and they make life fun,” said Heather.

“I still do things and keep busy, and since I began taking Souvenaid my deterioration has slowed and I think that this has reduced the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in my life,” said Dr. Waters.

 

Souvenaid is a food for special medical purposes for the dietary management of early Alzheimer’s disease and must be used under medical supervision.

 

 This article is not intended as medical advice and is merely information – not advice. If readers need medical advice, they should consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional.

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  1. So sad to hear! Stay well Keith we are thinking of you. He saved our sons life and countless others and we are forever grateful. Enjoy every minute of your retirement you deserve it.

  2. Dear Keith and Heather

    We were so pleased to find a connection to a very special part of our journey in and through RCH. Our son Cameron was diagnosed with ALL in April 1979. Keith wasn’t much older than us and how we depended on that man!
    Cam went into remission and 5 years later most of our visits to RCH were over. We will however, never forget the dedication and compassion from this very special man.
    Thank you Keith… we will always remember.
    Leigh and Elaine Wilson

  3. Dear Keith

    In June of 2002 we met you at our worst time when our daughter Jessica was diagnosed with ALL at 9 years old. When Jess turned 18 we came to see you for the last time where you took a call from a previous patient who had just given birth to her first child. You looked at me and said “Miracles do happen”. I am overjoyed to tell you that Jess has also just given birth to little Charlie and both are doing very well. I will never be able to thank you enough for your wise words of wisdom and everything you did for Jess. You are an incredible person and I will never forget. THANK YOU.

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