In mid-March 2021, following a particularly stressful week, Mandy began experiencing some troubling symptoms, including numbness in her arms and legs and a rapid heartbeat. She was in and out of the hospital over the course of a week and underwent a battery of tests, only to be told doctors could find nothing wrong with her. Sadly, her symptoms continued to worsen, and after a terrifying episode at home, she was rushed to the emergency room. Mandy’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and within hours of being admitted, Mandy was fully paralyzed from the neck down and had been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).
GBS is a rare neurological disorder that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack its own nervous system. Some people with GBS experience mild symptoms, like weakness in their limbs. Unfortunately, by the time Mandy was diagnosed, her condition had progressed to the point where she is now unable to move in any capacity. We’re incredibly thankful that her respiratory system was spared and she was able to avoid intubation. But Mandy is currently completely paralyzed and remains hospitalized while she undergoes treatment to reverse the damage.
Doctors are hopeful that Mandy can make a full recovery, but it’s going to be a long, difficult road. Upon completion of her treatment this week, she’ll be transferred to an in-patient rehabilitation facility where she will begin intensive physical therapy. Doctors have not said how long Mandy will be in rehab, but we’re anticipating several weeks, at least. Due to covid restrictions, Mandy is not allowed to have visitors; so for the entire length of her hospital stay, she’s been alone and unable to move - not even enough to lift her phone to talk to her kids, mom, or friends.
Unfortunately, as if dealing with a life-altering illness isn’t enough, Mandy will also be under an immense financial strain due to her illness. She is uninsured, so the cost of her care, treatment, and rehabilitation will come out of pocket. As her friends and family, we want to do everything in our power to relieve Mandy of as much of the stress and anxiety she’s under as possible, so that she can devote her mental health, strength, and energy toward healing and returning to Harper and Smith and all of us who love her.
All of the funds donated will go directly to Mandy to be used for her ongoing medical care, Harper and Smith’s day-to-day needs, household expenses, and any support or assistance she needs in the coming weeks and months. We know she has a long road ahead, but we also know that if anyone can do it, it’s Mandy.