Three weeks after giving birth, 26-year-old Holly started to feel tired. But the young woman wasn’t too worried about it. One evening, she started to feel tingling sensations in her hands which quickly turned into burning sensations. Thinking that the pain would pass, Holly just went to sleep, but the next day, she practically couldn’t move her arms.
She was then taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, named after two French neurologists, which affects one in 500,000 people. This auto-immune syndrome, which is rapid-onset muscle weakness, affects the peripheral nervous system. 5% of people who suffer from this syndrome die from complications associated with it. It often begins in the feet and the hands, spreading to the arms and upper body, on both sides of the body.
Fortunately, Holly was taken to intensive care and was able to be taken care of. After months of rehabilitation, she was able to be completely independent again, driven by the desire and need to take care of her young daughter.
For some people, rehabilitation can take years. Today, she is still fighting to raise awareness about Guillain-Barré syndrome and is involved in raising money to continue research into this condition.