Mackenzie’s journey with Transverse Myelitis began on September 26, 2014. The week began with early symptoms of pain and a burning sensation on her back and side. The initial thought by the pediatrician was that it was shingles, because she had recently been exposed to the shingles virus by both grandmothers. By Wednesday of that week, she began vomiting and the pain and burning sensations continued. We made two visits to the ER between Wednesday and Friday and were sent home both times with no answers. Later that same Friday, I noticed Mackenzie was walking with a slight limp and she looked off balance. I called her pediatrician and he said to get back to the hospital immediately and that he was ordering an MRI. Mackenzie went in for her MRI on Friday evening. The results of the MRI showed inflammation in the spinal cord between C5-C6 and T9-T10 and she was diagnosed with TM. By Saturday evening, she could not feel either of her legs. If here was any good news, it was that she never lost bladder and bowel control.
Mackenzie was started on high dose IV steroids that night and had a spinal tap to rule out other diseases and illnesses. As my husband and I sat in the hospital trying to comfort Mackenzie and attempting to understand her diagnosis, family members were frantically searching the internet for answers and information. They were determined to find someone that could help Mackenzie. It was through those searches, that we found the TMA as well as Dr. Benjamin Greenberg. Mackenzie’s pediatrician consulted with Dr. Greenberg for the next steps in treatment and Mackenzie received five treatments of plasmapheresis between October 1st and October 7th.