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Marysue Grivna was a healthy and active girl until last November, but now she cannot walk because of a rare condition called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis or ADEM. Her parents think a flu vaccination she received four days earlier was the cause.
Marysue received a flu shot on November 22, 2013, and three days later, the girl went to bed like normal. The next morning her parents found her paralyzed in bed and unable to move. Her parents called paramedics, who discovered that the girl had a seizure during the night.
“The doctors won’t confirm it or deny it,” Marysue’s mother, Carla Grivna, told Fox & Friends. “Her father Steven and I are certain, due to all of our research, that this was what caused Marysue’s condition. She was a happy, healthy, running and playing 9-year-old, then this happened.
“There was no underlying condition,” Grivna added. “I mean, so many tests at the hospital to try and find something else that could have caused it and they could not find anything.”
Before she went to bed on Nov. 25, she played freeze tag with friends and then ate her dinner.
Now Trapped in Bed
“Marysue is now nonverbal, confined to a wheelchair/hospital bed, is primarily eating via a g-tube though we are now able to start feeding her stage two baby food by mouth,” Carla Grivna wrote of her daughter at the GoFundMe fundraising website. “The only voluntary movement that she currently has is using her head and some gross motor in her legs and arms.”
Marysue now spends her days in a hospital bed in the living room because she cannot walk and can barely talk. Her father has to carry her around the house, and when she leaves the house she’s confined to a wheelchair.
“Marysue loved going to school, running and playing with her friends, singing in the children’s choir and playing hand bells at church,” Carla Grivna wrote on the GoFundMe website.
The Grivnas are using the fundraising site to raise enough money to build a handicapped accessible bedroom and bathroom for their daughter.
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“Our house is very small and her hospital bed is in our living room because the doors in our house are too narrow to accommodate her bed or wheelchair,” Grivna wrote. “When it is necessary to move her; say, to the bathroom, her daddy has to carry her. Her daddy should not be lifting her as he has shoulder and neck problems which were scheduled for surgery right after that horrible night which, of course, had to be cancelled. … Lifting her has caused him many days and nights of pain.”
What is ADEM?
Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis is a rare condition that causes inflammation in the brain and the spinal cord, damaging or destroying myelin, the coating that protects nerve fibers.
This causes paralysis, blindness, weakness and difficulty coordinating the muscles, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.
NIH acknowledges that vaccinations sometimes cause ADEM.
NIH research indicates that around 5 percent of ADEM cases occur after vaccinations, Britain’s Daily Mail reported. The newspaper uncovered at least one other case of a person who developed ADEM after a flu shot – a 75-year-old woman who died shortly thereafter.
Carla Grivna says she does not oppose flu shots but is asking parents to do research before giving their children vaccinations.
“Ask what the side effects of any vaccination are – [even] the most remote,” she said.
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