After 30 Years Of A Misdiagnosis, A Woman Is 'Cured' In Two Days With Just One Pill
April 27, 2015
Jean Sharon Abbott spent 30 years of her life believing that she suffered from cerebral palsy, only to learn that she had been misdiagnosed and almost all of her symptoms could be cured with just one pill.
Credit: Jean Sharon Abbott
The 38-year-old Minnesota mother of three was diagnosed as a child with spastic diplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), a neurological disorder that appears early in life and permanently disrupts the brain's ability to control movement and balance.
After three decades of suffering from muscle spasms, weakness, near immobility, as undergoing surgical procedures, she learned that she actually has dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD), a rare, yet treatable, muscle disorder. Similar to cerebral palsy, DRD can cause involuntary muscle contractions and tremors. However, unlike cerebral palsy, these symptoms can be virtually eliminated by medication.
Two days after her correct diagnosis, she stood up without assistance for the first time.
Credit: Jean Sharon Abbott
As she got stronger, her husband began working with her to increase her walking distance and four months later, they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary by traveling the 1,200 mile road around Lake Superior - the location of their first honeymoon. Jean walked to locations that she previously had to be carried to and even completed a 10-mile hike.
But despite the misdiagnosis, Jean says she feels no resentment or anger. Instead, she chooses to focus on gratitude.
"I hate to tell you this, DRD, but I won!" Jean writes on her blog. "Even though I went untreated for three decades, I was able to make friends, go away to college, marry and have children despite the fact that I could barely move my arms or legs, despite the countless hours of spasms, stiffness and cramping throughout my body. You didn't stop me, and I maintained a positive attitude and remained a joyful person."
"Dopa Responsive Dystonia, you may have tried to steal happiness from my life, but what you've really done is help me realize how wonderful the gift of mobility is. And for that, I thank you!"
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