Transverse Myelitis has been a part of our everyday lives since June 2, 2015. Our daughter Maggie Dawn was diagnosed with TM just a few weeks after her 1st birthday. The onset of her symptoms started with vomiting, crying, lack of appetite, lack of thirst, lethargy, then becoming severely dehydrated, then the loss of balance and paralysis beginning with her legs and spreading up her torso and arms. All of this happened within 3 days. Maggie was finally admitted to the hospital on a Wednesday night when we wouldn’t settle for a diagnosis of severe dehydration. We kept insisting and wanting answers for the lack of movement in her limbs. By Friday night, a pediatric neurologist was called in to evaluate our daughter and find answers to the paralysis that had set in.
Everything after Maggie’s hospital admission was a whirlwind to say the least. The team on Maggie’s case was mostly resident doctors who had no idea what Transverse Myelitis was. The Pediatric Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Hemmady, took the time to get to know Maggie and realized this was nowhere near what Maggie could previously do physically. Dr. Hemmady called in a neurologist to evaluate Maggie as soon as possible. Luckily, her neurologist, Dr. Narayanan had seen a few cases of Transverse Myelitis and knew what it was and how to immediately treat it.
Treatment for TM began immediately after her MRI and spinal tap results showed extended demyelination of her spinal cord from the cerebrospinal junction to T-10. Treatment consisted of high dose methylprednisolone and IVIG. Maggie spent about 3 days in the ICU during the initial treatment for TM and a total of 11 days in the hospital.
There were no answers after her diagnosis. This was very frustrating. Would she walk again? Would she crawl? Would she even be able to sit up on her own? No answers could be given, it was all a wait and see what she gains back over time.