Childbirth is an amazing time. It is full of hope and new possibilities. However, for a new mother, it is also a time of uncertainty and unbearable pain. But, sheer love and faith in God can really help mothers pull through the pain and enjoy bringing a new life into this world. Having a child is perhaps the best time in a couple’s life, it really is an expeirence like no other! There are so many expectations that come with the newborn, and a lot of times that can weigh heavy on a couple. However, many couples aren’t that fortunate to sail through childbirth smoothly. One such couple is Holly Gerlach and her husband. The weeks following the birth of their first child, Casey was no less than a nightmare for the couple.
The couple was expecting a complication-free pregnancy and delivery. But things changed Holly gave birth to her daughter. She began to experience neck pain and weakness in her legs. As the days passed, Holly’s condition worsened and her husband rushed her to the hospital. But it was too late. The young mother was paralyzed from the neck down. A series of tests revealed that Holly was suffering from Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS). The condition is a disorder in which the immune system of the body attacks some parts of the peripheral nervous system, triggering symptoms including tingling sensations in the legs and varying degrees of weakness. In many cases, the abnormal sensations spread to the rest of the body. The disorder can totally paralyze someone after weakening certain muscles. The disorder can be life-threatening if it interferes with breathing, heart rat, and blood pressure.
Holly’s rapid deterioration worried her husband and family. At a time when Holly should have been caring for her newborn, she was surviving on a ventilator. She was under round-the-clock observation of medical staff. She soon became unable to speak properly. But one day she leaned over to the nurse and said, “I’m in so much pain”. It was heart-wrenching for Holly’s husband and her family members to see her in this state day-in and day-out. However, times started changing for both of them soon after. The condition doesn’t last forever. Holly started healing with the support and care of nurses and family members, especially her husband. Holly wanted to regain her strength and go back home to her daughter Casey.
Holly’s paralysis started improving, and she started to do things like talking, walking, eating, and dressing up. Despite the discomfort and pain, Holly dedicated her time to regaining her health. Holly returned home after four months of being in a hospital bed. She has regained her strength with the help of intense gym exercises and workout DVDs. Holly is now fit and fine and enjoying her time with her little girl. Guillian-Barre syndrome is not a very common health condition. However, it can be a life-threatening disorder if proper medical attention is not available. Holly’s story inspires millions across the globe who may be suffering from this lethal health issue. Her story sends a powerful message on perseverance and faith. Holly’s health was not only her struggle. It became the struggle of her husband, family, and most importantly her little daughter. Despite her pain and discomfort, Holly continues to keep calm and lead a normal life. She is truly an epitome of strength and faith.
Know More About Guillian-Barre syndrome
Guillain-Barré syndrome may be rare but it is so important to stay informed about this illness. Here is some information about Guillain-Barré syndrome from the World Health Organization:
Key facts: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. People of all ages can be affected, but it is more common in adults and in males. Most people recover fully from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. Severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome are rare, but can result in near-total paralysis. Guillain-Barré syndrome is potentially life-threatening. People with Guillain-Barré syndrome should be treated and monitored; some may need intensive care. Treatment includes supportive care and some immunological therapies.
Symptoms: Symptoms typically last a few weeks, with most individuals recovering without long-term, severe neurological complications. The first symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome include weakness or tingling sensations. They usually start in the legs and can spread to the arms and face. For some people, these symptoms can lead to paralysis of the legs, arms, or muscles in the face. In 20%–30 % of people, the chest muscles are affected, making it hard to breathe. The ability to speak and swallow may become affected in severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. These cases are considered life-threatening, and affected individuals should be treated in intensive-care units. Most people recover fully from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, although some continue to experience weakness. Even in the best of settings, 3%–5% of Guillain-Barré syndrome patients die from complications, which can include paralysis of the muscles that control breathing, blood infection, lung clots, or cardiac arrest.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23
Hold His Hand: Parents hold their children’s hands, especially when the child is small. Lovers hold hands. Wounded or weary people may hold another’s hand to steady themselves while standing or walking. A teammate might offer his hand to a fallen comrade to assist him to his feet as a sign of respect and good sportsmanship. Holding someone’s hand is a sign of affection, support, comfort, and confidence. God extends his hand to us this way on a daily basis, reminding us that we never have to walk alone. We are loved, we are strong, and we are protected. His hand holds ours and connects us to him as his beloved child. We have intimate access to the God of the universe—so much so that he holds our hand! Today, celebrate being God’s child and allow him to hold your hand. Pray: “Dear Father, for all my grown-up responsibilities and roles, I’m always your child. Thank you for holding my hand and going with me each step, each day.”