On 4th of July evening my daughter Angelina was playing and swimming and told me she was hungry. I started to make a plate of food and she came in moments later saying “Daddy I can’t close my hand!” It was her right hand and, not overly concerned, I said “ok what did you do to it”? She begins to panic saying “I can’t open it daddy!” She was still wearing her bathing suit and I made her walk to the car to change. 10 minutes pass and suddenly her legs then collapse and become like jelly. Panicked, I rush her to the ER and when I lifted her to go in, she was completely flaccid and dead weight. About a half hour had passes since her initial complaint, and she became paralyzed over her entire body including the muscles needed for her diaphragm to breathe. They intubated her and flew her to a children’s hospital.
This all happened out of nowhere and seemingly for no reason. We are still shocked in disbelief. Two agonizing days went by and doctors performed every test possible. Bacteria, viral, tick, heart problems and stroke were ruled out, and of course there was no trauma to the spine either. With dye added to Angelina's spinal cord, doctors were able to detect 'abnormal signals in the brain stem and spine' and gave us a diagnosis that they weren't completely sure of (and still aren't). Doctors are calling it either "transverse myelitis" or "ADEM/acute dilenated encephamyelitis" which is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation, lesions on the myelin, and attacks the spine. From the research I've done along with family members, it is an extremely rare (1 in 2 million case) that can frighteningly enough strike an individual at random.
What they're doing is taking her blood out, and replacing it with different plasma so that it isn't carrying those attacking antibodies. Steroids are given to reduce inflammation in the spine. There is no specific cure, but only these treatments. Where we go next is, through prayer and waiting, we see if some of her extremities begin to come back. Each ADEM case is different. Some victims have a full recovery, while others never regain parts back. It's all a waiting game with alot of rehabilitation as she regains function.
As you can imagine, an illness such as this requires around the clock attention and puts a tremendous amount of emotional and financial stress on the family involved. Angelina needs support by knowing shes loved and she needs support by knowing she has a home to come to when shes healed. It has been a challenge to find time to work and of course the bills never take a holiday. If you are unable to donate, that is completely understandable, just please keep Angelina in your prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your love and support. God bless you and may God heal Angelina!