Ivo Karlovic – ‘There Were Moments When I Didn’t See The Way Out’
My right arm was tingling.
I was home in Miami in April 2013, when one morning I woke up at 8:00 am. At first, I thought I had slept in an awkward position. No big deal.
But then my wife asked me a question, and the corner of my lip started drooping. It only got worse from then on and as the hours went by, I lost feeling in my arm and my ability to speak. By the end of the day, I didn’t know my name or what year it was. When medical staff at the hospital asked me questions, I couldn’t respond.
There were days when I woke up and thought, ‘Okay, I’m still alive.’ But the headaches would get crazy. It reached a point where the pain was so unbearable, I almost wanted to die so it would stop. It turns out I had encephalitis, inflammation of the brain.
Kevin Hang – Back on his skates after a bout with encephalitis
Kevin Hang is happy to put the hockey gear on again. He’s played hockey for half of his young life.
He’s part of the Junior Stars, but after being diagnosed with a rare form of encephalitis — he hasn’t played since November.
Today, his therapists at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital coordinated with Kevin’s coach and several of his teammates to have a skating birthday party for his seventh birthday.
Evie Moore’s paranoia was a warning sign of rare brain condition that left her hallucinating and fighting for life
A woman who became jealous and paranoid that her ex-boyfriend was chatting to other girls in fact had a rare brain condition that left her psychotic.
Evie Moore, 23, said she became ‘animalistic’ while in hospital, hallucinating that she was ‘the Messiah’ and even forgetting who her parents were.
She was diagnosed with encephalitis, a condition which causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy brain cells.
In the months leading up to her diagnosis at the end of 2015, the council worker, from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, became ‘totally disorientated’.
She was rushed to hospital when she had a seizure in her parents living room, leading to doctors putting her in an induced coma, fighting for her life.
What Success Looks Like Post Encephalitis
Nicola largely relied on a wheelchair, fought seizures and forced her way through speech impairments, among other challenges. She was only 1 year post onset.
After a successful career as an attorney, life looked quite different. Her perspective on “success post encephalitis” is one of humble pie, grace and giving.
“Like most people, E changed my life forever. It stole my career, my ability to remember daily events, and even my ability to speak normally for several years. It re-routed the path of my life, and made it impossible for me to drive or travel alone. It jumbled my judgment and crumbled my sense of self. It slammed the brakes on the life of this go-getter attorney and forced me to sit. Just sit. And just be.”
Even though I didn’t know Nicola before encephalitis, there’s a dash of daring in her smile, an abundance of knowledge in her gaze and a quest for achievement in her style. Being “forced to sit” must have been her greatest feat.
She continued, “It taught me what it means to be helpless, and to be tenderly cared for by a loving husband. Unable to communicate clearly, it forced me to stare into the faces of my children and suddenly, for the first time, truly recognize the depth of their love.”
ABC News – Encephalitis Survivors: Lonely Battles to Reclaim Lives
Becky Dennis delivered one of her best presentations while on a 2008 business trip to India. But within two hours of giving her talk, she couldn’t put together a sentence or move her legs.
“I knew the words in my head,” recalled Dennis, now 42, “but I didn’t know how to communicate them. When I stood up, I didn’t know how to walk.”
Doctors were at a loss to pinpoint the source of her devastating illness.
Back in the states, Dennis’ health declined. She kept losing weight, couldn’t taste or smell anything, and was sleeping all the time. She shuttled around to more than a dozen doctors over the next 30 months and was variously diagnosed with stress, a stroke, and a complex migraine. Experts also told her that it was all in her head, she said in an interview Tuesday.
Unfortunately for many patients with encephalitis, often doctors haven’t seen many cases and don’t know the telltale symptoms, and many patients may not find their way the neurologists and other specialists who do.
And encephalitis can be particularly difficult after it is diagnosed and treated since, after the initial acute illness passes, some patients are left looking normal but suffering from the silent ravages of the infection. Health insurers may deny longer term rehabilitative care, including comprehensive speech, physical and occupational therapy that can improve recovery.
For those who’ve followed Rylee Kinnett‘s story, today we honor her with a story that documents her encephalitis journey.
Click here to read about this amazing young woman. Rylee’s story