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STORIES -'A Daughter's Resilience' 
-Dawn’s Story [told by her mum]

My daughter was injured in a car accident on February 17, 2007. Dawn was driving a small compact car and she was broadsided by a large pickup truck driven by a young driver. The car was hit so hard that all of the fluids poured out from the car. Friends of the other driver tried to get Dawn to get out of the car. One the friends asked Dawn if she was hurt. When she said yes, the female friend said “are you sure you are not faking”. One male friend tried to get Dawn to let him help pull her from the car so he could move the car.

Thank God there were witnesses and one of the witnesses would not let the man move Dawn or the car. Once the ambulance arrived, Dawn had to be pulled from the car. Dawn was transported to the emergency room. Dawn complained of neck, back and knee pain. However, it did not appear she was seriously hurt. She was examined and some x-rays were taken. It appeared Dawn had a seizure while in the emergency room. The x-rays showed nothing and she was sent home with some pain pills.

From February 2007 until June 2007, Dawn was seen in the ER, by her Primary Care Physician (PCP) and a Chiropractor complaining of severe neck, shoulder and back pain. Due to her severe pain, Dawn was having a very hard time walking. She walked very slowly. On the 10th of June 2007, Dawn was seen by her PCP. During that visit, she was told that she had Sjogren’s Syndrome. This diagnosis came from the rheumatologist Dawn had been seeing due to her pain. My daughter and I were shocked. The rheumatologist did not mention this to us nor did he give us a treatment plan.

On the 13th of June 2007, Dawn was back in the ER due to extreme, severe pain. She was in so much pain she could not walk. Dawn told the attending physician that she had pain from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. He called her PCP and was told that Dawn had an autoimmune disorder. When she left the ER, she was given a prescription for prednisone, pain pills and a referral to see another rheumatologist for a second opinion. When we left the hospital, Dawn, my mother and I thought Dawn’s medical problems was due to an autoimmune disorder.

On June 15, 2007, We came to Nevada for a visit to determine if we wanted to relocate back the state. Almost immediately, Dawn was being seen in Urgent care for pain in her neck, back, shoulder and knee. Many tests were completed and according to the doctor, there was nothing to suggest Dawn had arthritis or an autoimmune disorder. During the week of September 15, 2007, Dawn had been seen in Urgent Care four times. By the 17th of September 2007, Dawn was hospitalized due to paralysis of the right side of her body.

On September 19, 2007, the left side of Dawn’s body began to show signs of paralysis as well. By September 23, 2007, Dawn was paralyzed from the chest down. She was considered a quadriplegic. The Doctors at Sunrise hospital could not tell Dawn or the family what was wrong. Many tests were done, MRI’s, CT SCANS, blood work and eventually a thoracic laminectomy and biopsy of the spinal cord at the T7 level due to severe swelling of the entire spine.

Dawn spent months in the hospital as the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with her. The family was told it could be a tumor, cancer or Multiple Sclerosis. As the test came back and everything was ruled out. Dawn and the family were told Dawn suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of the Car accident from February 2007. It appeared that her spine and been swelling for months.

Dawn spent five months in in-patient rehabilitation where she received physical and occupational therapy. She returned home on January 31, 2008. She began in home health care in February 2008.



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