Condition: Transverse Myelitis with Acute Flaccid Paralysis
City, State: Medford, OR
Club: South Medford High School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 11/17/2017
Bridget was born on November 25, 2014 and became the third little girl in her family. Not only was she cute as a button, she was healthy and thriving. Everything changed in October 2015.
October 6, 2015 was a day like any other. Bridget was crawling through the house, playing with her sisters. That night she had a hard time sleeping and seemed to be suffering from a severe case of teething. The next day she woke up and couldn’t move. Overnight her body had become so weak and unresponsive that her parents rushed her into the pediatrician. Some blood work was done, along with an overall physical, but no immediate results. Bridget and her family went home for the evening, but by the next day she had become much worse. She was unable to cry, and only able to move her head back and forth. She was rushed into the hospital, where a CT Scan and spinal TAP was done. The first thought was that this child was suffering with meningitis. She was flown to another hospital in Portland where she lived in the PICU for a month.
Bridget had gone from a lively, energetic, crawling 9-month-old baby to not being able to breath on her own, in a matter of 72 hours. Her condition caused her to undergo several procedures that included a double surgery for a tracheostomy and G-tube. She was unable to breath without the use of a ventilator.
Doctors quickly ruled out meningitis and tested her for every infection, virus, and bacteria. They were able to determine that there was no external cause for her condition- no virus or bacteria caused this to happen. This was a difficult thing to understand, but ultimately the better outcome.
Within a week, a diagnosis was determined. Little Bridget had suffered an event resulting in Transverse Myelitis with Acute Flaccid Paralysis. This condition is an auto-immune attack, a spontaneous infection that attacks the spine.
It can be an incredibly frustrating condition, being that doctors are still determining the full spectrum of the illness.
What is known is that Bridget’s spinal cord had major swelling, specifically around her T-4 vertebrate (a major part of her central nervous system). Basically, her nerve signals to her brain are being interrupted, which in turn leaves her body very vulnerable and unable to function properly. A common cold can send her to the emergency room.
Currently, Bridget requires the use of a wheelchair, physical therapy equipment, and many other devices.
This sweet little girl has a tremendous challenge in front of her, but she has the heart of a warrior. Her precious smile lights up a room, she is very smart and curious, and you cannot help but to be drawn to her big-bright beautiful eyes.
Bridget will be adopted as a Sparrow to South Medford High School. Students at SMHS will work hard to raise money for Bridget through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.