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Ohio teen wakes up suddenly paralyzed day after Christmas

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  • Ohio teen wakes up suddenly paralyzed day after Christmas


    Ohio teen wakes up suddenly paralyzed day after Christmas
    Posted at 11:32 AM

    “She was perfectly happy, healthy. We can’t comprehend it. It doesn’t feel real right now.”

    On Christmas morning, Isabel Kirby, her sister and brother were opening presents. Her family was enjoying the holiday together, and she had just gotten a brand-new TV.

    But as the day went on, Isabel started to feel a pain in her legs. It was slight at first, but within an hour, she said, everything changed.

    “My legs went into this big huge pain,” Isabel recalled. “Then they went numb.”

    Her parents, Noel and Bret Kirby, thought Isabel might be having growing pains or a charley horse. So Isabel walked upstairs and went to bed to see if it would go away...

    ....Doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital believe Isabel, a 13-year-old Cloverleaf Middle School student from Medina County’s Chippewa Lake, has acute flaccid myelitis. The rare condition with polio-like symptoms affects about 100 people nationwide each year.

    Isabel’s case has been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the diagnosis.

    Physicians believe a virus infected part of Isabel’s spinal cord, which affected nerves that run from her spinal cord to her muscles, causing weakness in her legs.

    Doctors said it’s still unclear whether the virus itself or the immune response to the virus — or a combination of the two — causes the condition. Dr. Matthew Ginsberg, a pediatric neurologist at Akron Children’s, said Isabel’s immune system may have tried to fight the virus and attacked an unintended target.

    “Instead of her body attacking the virus, it kind of went haywire and started attacking the spinal cord,” Noel Kirby said.

    If the damage was done by the virus, medical experts are still unsure how. Dr. Eric Robinette, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Akron Children’s, said in most cases, the virus like the one Isabel caught can lead to a cold or other common illnesses. In extremely rare instances, it can cause acute flaccid myelitis.

    Robinette said it’s believed that Isabel contracted an enterovirus, a common virus that is easy to catch...