Winning Math Student Has Fast Transition into Paralyzing Illness

July 18, 2016

My son was already one of a kind: he loved math—and he was great at it too.

It was early January when he and his team started to get excited for the mathematics competition they were going to attend. He used to go to school early to review with his teacher and he’d get back home later in the afternoons. I thought that was fine with him because I saw him enjoying it. He loves to study—at least he did, until he got sick. It seemed like out of nowhere he developed a fever, a cough—but he was six years old. This was common among the elementary crowd. I gave him some over the counter medicine, some soup and got him to rest.

Eventually, with the help of some prescription medications, he finally got well and was able to compete. He got the first place in individual and group category. I was so proud of him. I saw in his eyes that he was so happy. His teacher was so happy too.

2016-05-14-10.22.46It was three days later, while we were reading over his lessons at home that something bothered me. As he walked to the counter he fell several times. He wasn’t one to normally have balance problems, so this really worried me. He complained of pain in his lower muscles. Immediately this set off alarms for me: potassium. He wasn’t getting enough potassium. So I gave him some bananas.

But the next day was a nightmare. He wasn’t able to stand on his own. In a panic, I brought him to the nearest doctor. I didn’t know what was happening to him. The doctor suggested a variety of lab tests—but we didn’t have time for that! So I took him to a hospital, but there were no neurologist there, so on their advice—we took him to an even larger hospital. The whole way my son complained about the pain and all I could do was hug him and cry. I felt helpless.

When we arrived at the final hospital he was admitted the ER. After some assessments, doctors said my son had a condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

The treatment began with five bottles of IVIG for five days. Thankfully, my son will recover with physical therapy. I just wish more people knew about this disease so they aren’t taken by surprise if the symptoms set in.


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