3-year-old girl paralyzed from AFM virus

Posted at 8:39 AM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 10:39:43-04

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    TAYLORS, S.C. (WLOS) — Elizabeth Holcombe said when her daughter was first struck with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, on Feb. 22, she feared 3-year-old Preslee wouldn’t survive.

“She slumped out of the chair. She couldn’t even sit in the chair,” said Holcombe, who lives in Taylors, South Carolina.

Three hours earlier, she said Preslee was running and playing without any problems at all.

Holcombe said she immediately took her daughter to the ER, where doctors initially thought the symptoms were from a minor head injury. But within hours, doctors realized something else was going on.

“They put her on a ventilator. Four-and-a-half weeks in, she would never move her arms and legs,” Holcombe said.

The news was shocking to her mom, who said doctors then put her daughter on high doses of vitamin C. And, within days, Preslee was able to move her arms. Since then, it’s been daily physical therapy sessions to regain mobility. She’s walking with a walker and crutches.

“She’s determined,” Holcombe said. “She’s making great strides.”

The CDC has issued warnings for parents to be aware that, while rare, cases of AFM have increased in 2018. The CDC reports 62 confirmed cases in 2018, but none in Buncombe County. Doctors do not know the cause, but experts recommend parents and children stay up-to-date on vaccines and flu shots.

“If something doesn’t seem right, your child seems tired or lethargic, can’t move their arm, face is drooping, I would say get to the hospital immediately,” Holcombe said.

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