Michael Spann, Tennessee Man, Bleeds Daily From Eyes; Doctors Have No Answers

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One day about 22 years ago, Michael Spann got a headache that hurt so bad that he cried. But it wasn’t even the headache that disturbed him. It was the tears. They were made out of blood.

Spann, who lives in Antioch, Tenn., and was just a teenager when he first cried blood, also bled from his nose, mouth and ears. The condition has never gone away. His unexplained tears of blood, as well as bleeding from the other areas of his head, has happened every day since.

A talented artist, Spann wanted to start his own line of fashion clothes, but his bleeding condition has kept him not only from that, but from going to college or even holding a job.

"Any job I get I lose because my eyes start bleeding and they can't keep me on," Spann told the Tennessean newspaper. "Obviously, I can't be a waiter and work in any public thing because you are bleeding."

The condition has turned him into a recluse, he says. But the worst thing is, no one can figure out why this is happening.

But recluse or not, Spann is not alone. Dr, James Fleming of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Hamilton Eye Institute in Memphis says that he and colleagues have seen four cases of this strange bleeding condition in the past 11 years.

"Most of these were relatively young patients," Fleming said. "As they matured, the bleeding decreased, subsided and then stopped."

But neither Fleming nor anyone else has been able to figure out what causes the frightening condition.

Spann has no health insurance, but he has been to emergency rooms and his family has managed to come up with $4300 for him to see specialists whom they hoped could help him.

Nothing. As far as doctors are concerned, he has a disease with no cause.

There probably is a cause, but it is a small tear duct that is only a millimeter or two or three in diameter," said Fleming. "To get into that tube and examine that tube from one end to the other would cause scarring, and you could lose part of the tear duct.”

SOURCES: The Tennessean, USA Today


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