A student from the University of Arizona was traveling in Spain when she began to have neurological symptoms. During a visit to the doctor on the trip, she was revealed to have a rare autoimmune disorder.
After being diagnosed with the disorder she was forced to stay in Spain. Now she has to raise funds to get back home.
Paralyzed In Spain
University of Arizona student Kara Dunn went to bed not feeling well, she had tingling sensations in her hands and face. Dunn woke up paralyzed from what turned out to be Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This rare autoimmune disorder attacks the peripheral nervous system, which is the system outside the brain and spinal cord. Dunn suddenly became sick on June 5.
During this time, Dunn also became sick with pneumonia and had to be put on a ventilator. She was able to be taken off of the ventilator on June 11. Dunn's family is trying to bring her back to the US but she would need to take a special medical flight that costs thousands of dollars.
Her brother Ryan Dunn started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to bring Dunn home. Insurance would be able to cover for most of her treatment back in the US but it wouldn't cover the flight back from Spain. Dunn's family is trying to raise $50,000 for the flight and related medical expenses such as physical therapy for Kara.
At the moment, Dunn's family was able to raise almost $32,000 for her. Ryan says on the GoFundMe page that this will cost their family more than $100,000 and that the money raised for Kara would alleviate that cost.
What Is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves. This results in weakness and tingling in the extremities during the first symptoms. These sensations spread quickly and as a result, the person's body becomes paralyzed.
People who are diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome need to be hospitalized to be treated for the disorder. Researchers aren't sure of what causes Guillain-Barre, but people who are diagnosed usually have an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu right before they seem to get Guillain-Barre.
There isn't a cure for Guillain-Barre but its symptoms can be treated and this could reduce how long Guillain-Barre will infect a person. Most people who are diagnosed with Guillain-Barre can recover from the illness but they will experience some effects from it. They will continue to feel weakness, numbness, and fatigue after.