A FATHER has died after getting “mad cow disease” from childhood medical treatments.

Daniel Sands, 39, was killed by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) after being given growth hormones as a youngster.

The brave father, who lived with his wife, Julie, and son, Andrew, went from a gregarious man to someone who could not even feed himself.

Mrs Sands, bravely talking to The Argus about her husband’s ordeal, described how the illness “turned his brain to jelly.”

She has spoken out about CJD because she wants people to be aware the illness – which hit the headlines in the 1990s – still existed and could be contracted in ways other than a “dodgy burger.”

Only 66 people are suspected to have died of CJD via medical treatments since 1990, an Edinburgh University medical study reported.

Mr Sands knew he could contract the killer illness but thought it was so minimal it would not affect him.

In the United States, out of nearly 8,000 people who received growth hormones in the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s, just 26 are believed to have contracted CJD.

Mr Sands’wife Julie, 43, said: “He thought getting CJD was a minor risk. But people should be aware of it. It was horrendous.

“I would be sat next to him and he would suddenly fall asleep. We were on holiday and he got worse. He deteriorated very quickly.”

Mr Sands, who was like a father to Mrs Sands’ daughter Stacey, 24, was diagnosed with the illness at Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath.

Describing her husband, Mrs Sands said: “He dealt with illness with great courage.”

Mr Sands, of Battle Road, St Leonards, worked on the trains and aspired to be a train driver. His family are seeking compensation from Department of Health (DoH) as an acknowledgement for what he went through.

He became ill in August 2010 and died in March 2011. His inquest is later this month.