They named a disease after me, but I doubt you’ve heard of it, as it’s very rare. There have only been seventeen confirmed cases, and that’s only in the last decade.
Bronson’s Patch. That’s what the disease is called. I’m Frank Bronson.
What they found was, if you’re exposed to a certain type of white noise, several hundred thousand brain cells form a network, or ‘patch’. I was the first person to become afflicted with this disease, and so it took them a while to even recognise what was happening. It wasn’t until the seventh victim that they were able to perform an autopsy (as well as all of the usual brain scans) to find the cause of the mysterious changes. It took until the tenth person for them to make a link between the white noise and the patch.
It isn’t just the white noise that suddenly affects you. In fact, I bet if you or any Joe or Jane on the street were exposed to the sound, nothing would happen. There’s some sort of genetic defect that occurs in a very very small percentage of the population that leaves you with an increased risk of being ‘patched’. And, as the brain continues to develop into adulthood, and the genetic defect doesn’t come into full force until the brain is adult sized, those afflicted can only be adults.
So, what are the symptoms?
They can vary slightly from person to person, but there are five main characteristics, which I shall describe to you below. (They can vary in intensity and frequency of presentation, too. What I describe below is the most extreme form of Bronson’s Patch.)
Characteristic one: elongation of limbs.
In some, this is barely noticeable. A person may grow a centimetre or two taller. Jackson Riviera, however, suffered from gaining an entire 67 centimetres to each leg, and 53 centimetres to one arm, and 47 to the other. He became a total recluse, refusing to allow anyone to see him.
Now, I realise this is not a result of a brain deformity. It is something to do with a DNA quirk. They don’t know how it happens. Not yet.
Characteristic two: propensity to sleep walk.
Some diagnosed with Bronson’s Patch do not experience this at all. Others experience it in a mild form, where a few times a month, they are found strolling around their neighbourhood. Two of the sufferers (one of whom died), experienced something more sinister. Elizabeth Mole was found standing on her rooftop, leaning over the edge. It was lucky her husband had awoken when the tiles had started shifting. She had allowed herself to be helped back to safety. Jennifer Axiak was not so lucky. It was all over the papers back in the summer of 2011. You probably read about it. Jennifer had taken some bungee cord, and got in her car and driven to the local park. There were some gigantic trees in that park. It was nearly morning when she climbed up to the top of one of the trees and strung herself from it. An early morning dog walker had spotted her – she was hoarse from shouting for help. “I don’t know how I got here! Help me down! I woke up here!” But by the time anyone could do anything, she was already lifeless. Absolutely tragic.
Characteristic three: unusual accent.
This is a characteristic that is shared by every sufferer of Bronson’s Patch. It appears that the part of the brain affected is closely tied to language, and somehow, pathways are triggered that cause the victim to speak with a bizarre accent, which I can only describe as a hybrid of French and Russian.
Characteristic four: lack of hunger.
The medical professionals cannot explain this one. Ten of the seventeen cases have shown a drastically decreased appetite. To the point where they are consuming less than 300 calories a day. Yet their bodies remain strong and healthy. This is where the most funding has been allocated to research. You can guess why they’re pouring money into understanding this symptom, in our body-image obsessed society.
Characteristic five: distress in the presence of children.
This is perhaps the most disturbing of all of the characteristics. Again, this one is shared by all sufferers. For some reason, those with Bronson’s Patch cannot stand to be near children. I mean there has to be at least a 5 metre distance between the sufferer and a child. Any closer, and the person begins to convulse in a most grotesque fashion. They scream and howl and cover their ears. If the child is not removed, the sufferer is in great danger of literally ripping their earlobes off and attempting to stuff them into the ear canal. One such case occurred where the sufferer became afflicted while on a long international flight. Joey Rydges. You’ve probably heard of this one, too. The crackling of the white noise while flying over the Atlantic must have triggered the start of the symptoms. The other passengers thought that Joey was suffering from an epileptic seizure. Until he began ripping his ears off. But it didn’t stop there – for how could it? Nobody knew the cause; nobody could help. Though Joey’s ears were bleeding and his voice was curdling the blood of all the passengers, he could not be calmed. He took the plastic fork from his half-eaten dinner and began to dig out his own eyeballs. Several passengers attempted to restrain him, but he displayed superhuman strength. It was only when the children had been moved further up the aisle that Joey could relax. By that point, however, he was blind and had suffered a great loss of blood. He did not survive the flight.
I guess the reason for sharing this with you is that if you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you must, MUST contact your local hospital and mention Bronson’s Patch.
Please don’t ignore my warning.