Brayden’s Journey

By Natalie Arabie

Brayden, a very athletic 12-year-old boy, was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis from the T-5 through T-7 level on February 1, 2018. His symptom onset began the evening of January 31, 2018. He felt like his foot was sleeping as he began baseball practice. He started jumping and running, trying to wake it up. When he bent down for a baseball, the feeling traveled up his leg to his waist, and down the other leg, causing his legs to collapse on the field.

Once at the emergency room (ER), Brayden was misdiagnosed by the ER doctor and was ready to be released. His father and I insisted that it was much more, and that he be admitted for further observation. The following morning, a neurologist made contact with me discussing his symptoms and the status of his diagnosis. Basically, the neurologist diagnosed him by phone with TM. That’s where the MRI and spinal tap came in and discussion of treatment and transport to another hospital.

After 5 days of steroid treatment in Lafayette, Louisiana, Brayden was moved to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) in Houston to further his treatment and look at other treatment options since there had been no change in his status. TCH decided on continuing the IV steroid treatment along with intense physical therapy and occupational therapy.

After a little over a week, Brayden, one determined young man, was released to go home with continued medications and therapy. After just three months, he was released to go back to school and sports. With some weakness in the ankles and knees, he refused to let it overcome him. He still has times of back pain and bad headaches but always pushes through and keeps a smile. The support of his friends, family, coaches and community has been a big part of his healing.