Jada's Story

Neurological Condition

Rehab team helps seven-year-old fight rare condition

Jada O’Neal was an active seven year old involved in ballet and gymnastics. On July 10, 2015, things changed.

“She was complaining about a stomach ache and headache. After a week she started having doubleJada2017-08 vision.  I called her doctor and he told me to  rush her to the emergency room.,” said Stephanie, Jada’s mom.

For weeks, Jada went through a number of tests and was diagnosed with Miller Fisher Syndrome, a variant of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare condition that attacks the nerves and muscles and eventually goes away on its own.

“Thankfully, we had a diagnosis but Jada was so weak she couldn’t walk.  She started home care including physical and occupational therapy.  And, unfortunately, the condition started to affect her lungs.  It was recommended we go to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.”

At the Children’s Hospital of Michigan she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where doctors found it was also affecting her esophagus and put her on a ventilator.  She still couldn’t walk, and now couldn’t use her arms.  More than a month later, she was transferred to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at the Children’s Hospital. 

“All she could do was wiggle her fingers and toes." Pediatric therapists from Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan started with bedside physical and occupational therapy. "Within in a week, she was using a wheelchair to go to their gym. In three months, she went from not walking, to the day she was discharged, she could stand and walk more than 200 feet with a walker. Incredible!”

She continued with outpatient therapy for several months at the Children's Hospital of Michigan Specialty

Center-Clinton Township and today is walking unassisted.

“Her therapists promised me she would walk again. They were very persistent and gave her so much confidence. This would not be the case if it wasn’t for God’s healing grace and putting us in the wonderful hands of the wonderful therapists at RIM.”

“I’m so happy because I’m I back in my activities and playing with my friends,” said Jada.