Amanda Stuckey

Diagnosis: Transverse Myelitis

Indiana, United States

My journey with TM started the morning of August 10th, 2015. I had no prior illness or symptoms before I woke up that morning. I got a sudden sharp pain in the back of my neck that made my hands start tingling at the same time. Within about 15 minutes it had traveled up my arms and down the rest of my body, leaving me completely paralyzed from the chest down. I spent 2 weeks in the ICU fighting for my life, unbeknownst to me as I was in a medically-induced coma. My diaphragm stopped working on day two, and I begged to be intubated. I ended up being on life support twice and had a trach tube for 6 weeks.

I didn’t have a diagnosis for a few weeks, and I was actually first misdiagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. I still am partially paralyzed from the chest down, and I wear an AFO brace on my left leg as it doesn’t work much and I have drop foot. I also can’t close my hands. I would say not having full use of my hands and fatigue are the hardest for me to deal with. I get around with a walker and wheelchair as needed. I also became a single mother of two due to my husband leaving shortly after I returned home from my three month hospital stay. It’s been a rough couple of years, but I refuse to let TM stop me from living my best life. The mental part of this is so difficult, but I choose to not stress over what I can’t control. I’m still alive and mostly independent now and able to raise my children. For that I’m thankful and blessed. I’m hopeful for a cure or some kind of treatment for repairing the spinal cord.

Amanda Stuckey