Maggie's Vaccine Injury Fund

Maggie Dawn is such a sweetheart. She mesmerizes everyone she meets with her big green eyes. She loves to snuggle with the softest of blankies and stuffed animals. Maggie loves porcelain dolls and hugging her babydolls. She is very perceptive and recognizes the smallest of details that may have changed in her environments. She studies people, places and things very intently and gets familiar with everything around her. She loves to "attack" her big sister and play chase and "magic carpet" with her as well. She giggles from her daddy's whisker kisses and big belly laughs from mommy's tickles. Miss Maggie recently celebrated her first birthday on May 8, 2015. She had so much fun playing with all her cousins and friends and digging into her beehive birthday cake.

                                        ~Long Story Short~

Our daughter Maggie was severely injured from the MMR (measels, mumps, rubella)  vaccine received at her 1 year well-child check up. She was diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) or Transverse Myelitis (TM), which is an automimmune disease. It is a very rare disease and even more rare that it happened to a child this young. Maggie's immune system started attacking her little body and deteriorated  her spinal cord from her cerebrospinal junction to T10 causing paralysis. At the onset of her illness she lost the ability to open her hands, move her legs, walk, crawl and even sit unassisted. The disease also causes severe pain, numbness and tingling sensations throughout her body.  

 Any and all donations received will be put towards her hospital bills and treatments to help in her recovery.  Thank you to all who donate and share her story and for your continued prayers for our baby girl. 

                                        ~ Maggie's Story ~

On Monday May 25, 2015, Maggie began vomiting early in the morning and by the evening came down with a very high fever which was treated in the emergency room along with a shot of an antibiotic for an ear infection that had not cleared up with previouly prescribed antibiotics. By Tuesday we knew something wasn't right with our little girl. She began losing her balance and falling backward as I was carrying her on my hip. She became very lethargic and refused to eat or drink. As I tried to set her down to see if she would play or walk her legs went limp under her and she could barely hold herself in a sitting position.  As she managed to reach for me and pulled herself to me while crying, Maggie made the short distance to me by army crawl. I called her pediatrician immediately and she was seen the same day.  The doctor said she was just dehydrated from her ongoing fever and ear infection  and weak from not eating. She did not look severely dehydrated and we were told to go home and give pedialyte and Gatorade. If things didn't improve to come back in to be seen on Wednesday. 

Wednesday morning Maggie woke up with a barely wet diaper and her motor functions had not improved at all. She was still very lethargic and fussy. I called and got an appointment scheduled later that afternoon. I knew something was drastically wrong with our daughter and took her to the doctors office immediately. Upon our arrival we were seen by another physician within 20 minutes.  This doctor confirmed that Maggie had become very dehydrated but said her lacking motor function was related to the dehydration and not eating. The doctor ordered a blood draw to check the severity of her dehydration. The phlebotomist couldn't get any blood drawn because she was so dehydrated. The doctor then conferred with another colleague and informed me that Maggie needed to be transferred out to another hospital that had a pediatric admitting department. Maggie needed to have an IV catheter to get fluids into her and get her rehydrated. 

After arriving at the new hospital by ambulance transport, Maggie was evaluated, given a chest x-ray, urinalysis to check for a uti and finally an IV drip was started. By now I had noticed that she was not opening her fingers to grasp things and had difficulty holding her bottle. The doctors and nurses insisted her immobility was due to her being severely dehydrated. I kept asking when this motor function would return. I was repeatedly told once she got rehydrated and gets some food in her for energy she would be back to normal. Maggie was given one round of regular sodium chloride IV and the  ER doctor came in and said she looked better and we could go home or stay. Maggie still looked sick to me and her motor function had not gotten any better and she was still refusing to take any fluids orally. I did not want to go home and have her become dehydrated again.  The doctor had mentioned we could start a dextrose (sugar) IV which would give her some energy since she had not been eating much.  I agreed to start this IV since I did not believe Maggie was ready to go home and I was still concerned with her lack of mobility.  Three hours of IV fluids and still no change in her motor functions and I told them to go ahead and admit Maggie for the night. 

Little did we know this one night stay would turn into an 11 day stay that has changed our lives forever.  In the morning the doctors did their rounds and confirmed that she was nice and hydrated now. Yes, I agreed she was now fully hydrated but our little girl could no longer use her hands to hold anything, she could no longer sit by herself, she could no longer crawl and she could no longer walk.  Something was WRONG with our daughter.  Everyone insisted she would regain her mobility and that severe dehydration can cause lack of mobility.  Every shift change of nurses, every new doctor, every  new resident doctor that came in to check on Maggie, I was sure to voice my concern of her lacking mobility every single time and I insisted that something was wrong and this was not Maggie. Maggie met all her milestones and was walking at 10 months, she was chasing after her big sister and recently learned how to climb on the couch.  What was wrong with her? Why could she no longer do the things she once was able to? 

                                        ~ Finally Answers ~

We were admitted to the hospital late Tueday night /early Wednesday morning and finally by Friday evening after being persistent that something was wrong with our daughter, the Pediatric Medical Director of the hospital came in to evaluate Miss Maggie. He had his opinions of possible enchephalitis from mosquitos, or a possible muscle disorder causing the paralysis. We asked about MRI's, spinal taps and CT scans to check for anything, something.  He stated that an MRI would be the first resort to check her brain and it would actually give a better picture than a CT scan and of course there would be no radiation with an MRI compared to a CT scan. The second option would be to do a spinal tap which would check for any infection in the brain or spinal cord. Each of these things would have to be done under sedation. The doctor informed us about the pros and cons of each procedure and was very informative and actually took the time to get to know Maggie and actually listened to our concerns. He spent over an hour with us evaluating Maggie, talking with us and giving us information and options. He also said he would be calling a pediatric neurologist in to evaluate Maggie.

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting............ that is all you do in a hosptial. I didn't think we would be seeing the neurologist on Friday because it was getting so late but finally around 8pm the neurologist came in with one of the resident team members who had been working on Maggie's case since we were admitted. He told me he had been in contact with the team by her chart notes and by phone and he had some assumptions as to what could be going on with her but he was still stumped and needed to see her in person and evaluate Maggie himself. He told me his initial assumptions of possible ailments could have been botchulism, encephalitis, a brain or spinal cord injury (trauma) and a few others that I can't remember at this time. He checked her reflexes, eyes, breathing and overall demeaner. He then stepped out of the room to speak with the resident doctor and about 3 minutes later he came back in and informed me that he wants an MRI and spinal tap ordered ASAP and that something was definalty wrong with Maggie neurologically speaking, either in her brain or spinal cord causing her paralysis. He didn't know what it was but the MRI and spinal tap tests would give him some answers. Everything from this point on happened so fast it was scarey.

Justin had left a few hours earlier to go home with Bryce. I called him immediatly to come back up to the hospital. 

Like I said, everything was a whirlwind of events after the neurologist left. 

-Maggie was moved to a monitoring room and hooked up to and EKG machine to monitor her heart, breathing and respirations. 

- Anethesia was in to get consent and inform me of the risks involved and exactly what was going to be done and how it was going to be done. 

- I had to give consent for them to perform the MRI and was told that it was going to be a 2 hour procedure. The earliest she would be in for the MRI would be midnight and the latest would be 2am. 

Justin and Bryce finally made it back up to the hospital and I had to fill him in on everything so far. 

-We had to give consent to the spinal tap being performed and the risks involved with that and exactly how the procedure would be done. 

- Maggies resting heart rate was consistently dropping below the normal rate and the alarm was constantly sounding on the machine and so the doctor ordered her to be moved to ICU for closer monitoring by the nurses. 

Just as we got settled in the regular monitoring room Maggie was moved to the ICU. We were not allowed to go with her during the move until she was settled in. Well, as I was pacing the halls waiting to be with our baby, I saw the ICU nurses wheeling her crib  back down the hallway and they said that MRI was ready for her. 

Maggie went in for the MRI (2 hour procedure) at approximatly 1:30 am Saturday morning with the spinal tap to follow (about a 30 minute procedure).

It was difficult to rest but I managed to doze off for about 2 hours. At 3am, 2 hours later, I woke up waiting to hear from the doctors or nurses. Finally at 3:30 I started walking the halls waiting for some news. The ICU nurse caught me in the hallway and said MRI called and everything was going good and that Maggie should be back up to ICU around 5am. 

                                         ~ The Diagnosis ~

The doctor came in shortly after Maggie had arrived back in ICU and gave us some preliminary news. Her MRI images were showing some negative abnormal readings and notes from the neurologist were to start treating immedialty if the readings came back a certain way. We were told she was being being preliminarily diagnosed as having ADEM, Acute Disseminated Enchaphalomyelitis, which is an autoimmune disease and caused inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Basically, her immune system went into overdrive and started attacking itself therefore, eating away at the protective covering of her spinal cord. It is said to be very rare and can be brought on by either a virus or vaccines. Maggie had both a virus and her 1 year vaccines within the timeframe of onset of the disease.

Immediate treatment for ADEM consisted of a high dose steroid intrevenously and IVIG intrevenously. IVIG is thousands of peoples antibodies given intrevenously to help Maggie's immune system recover and stop attacking her own body.

Further diagnoses revealed that the lesions or areas of demyelination are located on Maggie's spinal cord from the cerebral spinal connection (where the brain and spinal cord meet) through T10 of her spinal cord.  There were a few small lesions on her brain but nothing very concerning. Since the lesions were throughout her spinal cord the doctors are now diagnosing her with Transverse Myelitis (TM), myelitis being the spinal cord. Basically, TM is the correct medical terminology since the disease has not affected her brain (encephalo).

This disease is very rare consisting of 1 in 4 per million people per year. The doctors are saying it is even more rare in Maggie's case because she is so young (12 months). Her doctor's have never treated a child with this disease as young as she is. The average age of onset is 8-12 years old with some cases being in adults as well. Not a lot is known about this disease because it is so rare and there are not a lot of answers.

Every person is different in their recovery. Some people recover 100% with no residual affects. Some people recover well with only a few residual side effects and some people are wheelchair bound. Everyone is different. Maggie's doctors have a lot of hope for her since she has shown significant progress in her recovery.  We have been told most full recoveries can take up to a year. 
*Maggie received her MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) & Varicella (chickenpox) vaccines at her one year well-baby check-up on Thursday May 14th, 2015. The doctors treating Maggie have mentioned numerous times that they believe this was brought on and is an adverse side effect of recieving these vaccines, particularly the MMR. 

Life literally changes in the blink of an eye. One day you are walking, playing and having a grand ol' time with your big sister and the next morning you wake up and you can no longer walk, crawl or even hold a bottle to feed yourself.

We have asked for so many thoughts and prayers from family and friends and even strangers we have met in these post recovery days. Prayers, positive thoughts and the willingness to never give up is all we can do at this point for Miss Maggie. We will give her the best opportunities in treatment, strength, love and support in her long road of recovery.  We are looking forward to her ability to walk and run and chase after her big sister in the coming future. We know she is strong and independent and will be able to fight this disease and she will make a full recovery. 

Please be sure to come back and visit our page to see Miss Maggie's updates on recovery and her progress of mobility. 

Thank you for your support and donations to help with Maggie's recovery. Donations received will be applied towards Maggie's medical expenses, physical therapy, pain managment and her future recovery. 

The Pasco Family

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 26 mos
  • Cheryl Butler 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Diane Graham and Friends 
    • $1,200 (Offline)
    • 48 mos
  • Joe and Cathy Schirmer 
    • $25 
    • 48 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 50 mos
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Misty Pasco 
Glendale, AZ
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