Our daughter Julia was a normal spunky two year old when something unimaginable happened to her. The same cold her big sisters had paralyzed her and affected her breathing overnight. After three hospitals and numerous tests, she was diagnosed Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). This disease is extremely rare (about one in one million), but has been growing in the US over the last few years. The first cases appeared in 2014 and have shown up every two years so not much is known about this disease yet.
As the virus attacked Julia's autonomic system she continued to get worse. The doctors tried steroids and IVIG (Immunoglobulin treatments), but it wasn't until she got plasmapheresis (a type of dialysis which cleans the plasma of the blood) did things start to turn around. Now she is stable and we are excited to talk about the next weeks and months instead of hours and days. Her next step in recovery is rehab to help her regain strength and movement in her arms and neck. To get us to rehab faster, Julia had surgery to place a tracheotomy (trach) and a gtube. Sounds scary but we are excited these surgeries can help her improve even faster.
We've come a long way since we first came to the hospital for what we thought was dehydration. We cannot say thank you enough for the excellent staff of doctors and nurses at the great hospitals we've been to. Also, for all the prayers and support from family, friends, and strangers. Your love is truly beyond measure. Lastly, we know that God has a plan for this trial, that he will use it to further his kingdom.
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