EXCLUSIVE: Mother of child hospitalized with Enterovirus D-68 shares their story
A mother and child want answers. How did a normal little girl end up unable to move or speak within a matter of days?Is Enterovirus D-68 the culprit?Five-year-old Kinley Galbreath is in intensive care at Children's of Alabama. Her mother, Kim has been by her side for the last three weeks. The paralysis came after the little girl was admitted."As she was getting ready to doze off, she said 'mommy, my hands are going numb' and by that point she started to lose movement in her neck. On the third day is when she lost movement from her legs down," says Nichols. "The only thing she's had control of has been her toes. And that's what she wiggles to let me know something's wrong. And she'll blink her eyes for yes, and won't blink her eyes for no."Kim Nichols says the paralysis weakened her daughter so much, that doctors had to perform a tracheotomy, just so she could breathe. "She has lost all of the muscles in her diaphragm to push any sound up to talk. Today, she's really frustrated, because she started moving her lips and I can't understand what she's saying. She's continuously crying because I can't understand her."Nichols says her daughter had a mild form of asthma prior to being diagnosed with Enterovirus D-68. Children with respiratory issues are more likely to suffer complications with the virus. "A lot of people thought it was more of a common cold. And they didn't realized that it had totally paralyzed Kinley." Kinley's doctor, Dr. Jayne Ness is a pediatric neurologist at Children's of Alabama. Ness says it's not clear whether Enterovirus D-68 is connected to the paralysis. "Right now we know that, for example, in Kinley's case, she's tested positive for the virus. But, we can't prove right now, for sure, that the virus is the cause of the inflammation of her spinal cord," Ness says. Ness says Kinley's recovery will take time."I think a long, slow rehabilitation. But, based on what I'm hearing in other parts of the country, based on what we are seeing from other kids, is that there will be a recovery." Nichols has used Facebook to provide updates to Kinley's condition. A page "Praying for Healing for Kinley" has received more than 6,000 likes."I'm usually a very private person, but it was so overwhelming with the output of support from my community. We are from a small town. But they've all got hearts of gold."Kim Nichols' faith is helping her and Kinley get through this trying time. "My prayer, everyday is for God to give her complete healing. I think when God does heal her, that we will all look back and see just how wonderful His works was."Kinley will celebrate her sixth birthday in two weeks.Funds have been set up at First National Bank of Hamilton, First State Bank of Hamilton and People's Trust Bank of Hamilton.