Eight years ago, our daughter Anna’s life drastically changed. The whole family’s life has turned into a nightmare.
In the fall of 2009, a strep infection was found in Anna, and antibiotic was prescribed. A H1N1 shot (for swine flu), and her reaction was: fever, blinking eyes, making one-step forward, one back.
Soon, on Jan 25, 2010, Anna was knocked by a big boy on the hill at Snow Valley, Edmonton, lost her front tooth, she was bleeding, was very frightened and cried a lot. We hoped it would pass, but next morning dramatic, overnight onset of symptoms occurred, and she woke up as completely different child.
Since then, Anna and our whole family went through a chain of serious difficulties. We made countless efforts to help Anna, turning to various doctors, hoping for the better. She was misdiagnosed for several years. During last 2 years, Anna had 13 IVIG treatments, but it was only a supportive therapy, but not the major treatment.
Now we reached the point that the Canadian healthcare services could not help Anna. We are exhausted, frustrated, and even desperate. Anna’s symptoms became more severe than before. She is almost not functional, displaying OCD behavior practically all the time. We are terribly worried about Anna’s long-term prognosis.
Having exhausted all possible options in Canada, we turned to Dr. Elizabeth Latimer, USA, one of the world's leading neurologists and PANDAS/PANS specialists. Dr. Latimer has a 20-year experience of successfully healing more than 2000 children sick with PANDAS. In our desperate situation, we made an appointment for Anna with Dr. Latimer, and on January 29, 2018, we went for that appointment to Georgetown, Washington, DC, USA.
By that time, Anna was not able even to walk and we had to use wheelchair. Dr. Latimer diagnosed Anna with autoimmune Encephalitis, post infections. As a course of treatment, Dr. Latimer prescribed IV of Rituximab with the interval of 2 weeks repeated 2 times.
Before the major treatment, Dr. Latimer prescribed that Anna’s adenoids be removed and a high dose IV steroids be applied for 3 days. These measures have been completed during the last 2 months after Anna had been seen by Dr. Latimer. But as far as Rituximab, the major treatment is concerned, we have a problem: unfortunately, our Canadian doctor does not feel comfortable to implement this medication.
This medication itself is very expensive. We also have to pay for the process of its application, for doctor visits, transportation to and lodging in Washington, DC, which costs over 40K CAN. To treat chronic autoimmune disease requires re-dosing at 4-month intervals to be used up to 2 years.
Dr. Latimer’s treatment gives us a hope that Anna will overcome her illness.
We hope and pray the GoFundMe account will help save Anna’s health and thus―her future, actually, her life. We are very grateful in advance for your care for Anna and we highly appreciate any support you are capable to provide toward Anna’s recovery.
On June 11 and 25, Anna had her Rituximab IVs at Dr. Latimer's office in Georgetown, Washington, DC.
We hope that she'll be doing better soon, but she will need more treatments.
We really appreciate all supporters for their help and making this updates to let you know how things are going.
On October22 and November 5 Anna has the second Rituximab round in Washington, DC. She will have the third one in March, which will cost to her parents about $47000. In July we will have the next round that will cost the same money. We hope that treatment will help Anna to heal.
Again, we really appreciate all support and will keep everybody updated about how Anna's healing is going.
Thanking everyone with all of our hearts for your support and prayers,
Igor and Natalia Chernihovsky
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