Few series on global streaming platform Netflix are as heart-touching as Diagnosis.
The seven-part docu-series follows individuals with rare and undiagnosed diseases, as Dr Lisa Sanders is tasked with crowdsourcing in order to find the answers they need.
Episode 1 features once athlete Angel Parker, who suffers from sudden and impulsive muscle pain that is so severe she often can’t move. She becomes frozen and helpless in uncontrollable pain that shoots from toe to jaw. And, worst of all, doctors have no idea why.
But Angel never gave up in her quest for diagnosis and it’s this fighting spirit that proved an inspiration to viewers and even hinted at a brighter future…
Who is Angel Parker?
Angel is a 23-year old nurse from Las Vegas although she has never been able to work in the medical profession full-time due to her mysterious condition.
She featured on the Netflix series having suffered from progressive muscle pain and kidney problems for almost 10 years, which built to the point of having to visit the hospital every three months.
Tests for lupus and multiple sclerosis all came back negative, with no-one in the USA able to pin-point what was going on.
What happened to Angel on Diagnosis?
Dr Lisa Sanders put Angel’s case in her New York Times column where an Italian medical student offered his research skills and invited the 23-year-old to their research facility in Turin, Italy.
After two months and following a metabolic analysis that ruled out hundreds of diseases, the team eventually confirmed that Angel had carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 deficiency, also known as CPT2.
Speaking of her relief as she finally received the diagnosis, Angel said:
It’s crazy what the internet can do. It just took one person from Italy and now I am a completely different person. There’s no more wondering. There’s no more mystery.
What is CPT2?
CPT2 is a metabolic disorder that prevents long-chain fatty acids from being successfully used as an energy source.
It affects the skeletal muscle – thus Angel’s full-body pain – and is likely to be inherited to her children.
Angel Parker’s villain dad
Of course, with every hero comes a villain.
In this case, fans were furious with the approach of Angel’s dad, who refused to listen to the doctor’s opinion for a long, long time.
Stubborn, selfish and seemingly incapable of understanding that his daughter had a rare condition, he even yelled at Angel for rightly suggesting that the disease could be hereditary and was outraged at the prospect of not having grandchildren.
Bethan said on Twitter: “Just watching Diagnosis on Netflix, glad to see that the consensus on Twitter is that Angel‘s dad is a colossal, selfish pr*ck.”
Rupert added: “Watching #Diagnosis on Netflix, and I’m about to turn it off because of Angel’s dad.”
Watching #diagnosis on #Netflix and I feel for Angel. I remeber the agony of my pain and doctors being like “hmm strange 🤔 just excercise more” Her dad came across as wanting the limelight tho. Why was he unsupportive of her decisions around her own health I.e having kids?
— jessica boyce (@lyingfaith2) August 16, 2019
Catching up with Angel post-Netflix
Diagnosis: The cure to Angel’s pain was a reasonably simple diet adjustment, with the Italian doctors pointing the 23-year-old towards a diet that was higher in sugars but lower her fat.
Treatment: Italy provides free treatment because of rare diseases, which means Angel treatment came at zero cost.
Career: According to Decider, following the diagnosis and treatment, Angel has been able to fulfil her dream of working as a nurse full time!
Lawsuit: It is unknown whether lawsuits are still ongoing, although it seems unlikely now that there is evidence of a diagnosis that could have… and should have happened.