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Teen Girl Goes Blind, and Doctors Have No Idea Why

Jordyn Walker battles a terrible illness
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2019 7:17 AM CST
Jordyn Walker.   (GoFundMe)

(Newser) – A Missouri teen who fell ill after a family vacation has gone blind and lost her sense of smell and taste—and doctors are still asking why, People reports. KMBC reports Jordyn Walker had annually experienced stomach pain that she treated with medication, but her real trouble began after returning home from the 2017 cruise, when in addition to that pain she started bleeding from her nose and ears and lost her sense of taste and smell. Her family took her to doctors in North Carolina. "We went to every specialty—allergy, immunology, rheumatology—every specialty, with no answers," says her mother, Kendyll Walker. "We were searching and were told it was a one in a million case and probably would never happen again." Told it was likely a sinus infection, the family returned home and the symptoms eased—temporarily.

On Dec. 12, 2018, Jordyn's face turned purple and bruised with blood; a 16-day stay followed at the University of Kansas Hospital, where Jordyn underwent two surgeries to relieve eye-swelling, but further testing determined she would never see again. "Doctors believe that the blood flow to the optic nerve was compromised, severely damaging one nerve and completely destroying the other," says a GoFundMe page for Jordyn. Now the teenager who dreamed of being a journalist is living with what seems like an autoimmune disease. But she's determined to keep going: "Who's going to tell me I can't do it?" she says. Her family is hoping to take her to the Mayo Clinic for further tests. (In a similar case, a doctor who was teaching abroad "suddenly couldn't move.")

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