Woman Faces Temporary Paralysis After Being Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome

According to a story from wptv.com, young mother Sierra Henderson, whose first child is just 18 months old, reported to an urgent care facility recently with some unusual symptoms: a bad taste in her mouth and pain in her foot. She was originally diagnosed with a simple sinus infection, but her condition continued to worsen. Soon, the young woman was paralyzed, resulting in a weeks-long stay at the hospital to recover. She was diagnosed with a rare disease: Guillain-Barré syndrome.

About Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disease which is characterized by rapid onset muscle weakness. This is caused by the immune system inflicting damage on the peripheral nervous system. The symptoms can appear in a little as a few hours or over the course of a few weeks. The trigger that causes the autoimmune response is linked to an infection of the digestive tract or respiratory tract in most cases. The infections are often linked to Campylobacter jejuni or cytomegalovirus. Other infections can also serve as potential triggers. Symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome include sensations like numbness, pain, or tingling, progressive muscle weakness of the arms, legs, and face, pain, and difficulty swallowing. Some patients may experience respiratory failure, which is a medical emergency. Treatment includes interventions to restore breathing ability, immunotherapy, and rehabilitation to restore movement and muscle strength. To learn more about Guillain-Barré syndrome, click here.

Sierra’s Story

Sierra is still in the midst of her recovery. She has recovered her ability to speak, but she will require physical therapy in order to regain her walking ability. Sierra’s brother, Tim Goen, says that he was thankful that her sister listened to her instincts and sought a second opinion after her initial diagnosis. Her muscle strength declined so severely that she was forced to use a ventilator in order to breathe. 

The sudden onset of this rare disease has undeniably lead to an unexpected financial burden on Sierra and her family, so they have started a GoFundMe in order to help cover the surprise medical bills. If you would like to support Sierra, click here.

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