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Hershey girl paralyzed by rare diseaseTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Katelyn Campbell
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Therapy at Madonna
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Getting in some tennis

The family of a 12-year-old girl who was suddenly paralyzed in late June is asking for help.

Katelyn Campbell was on vacation in the Black Hills with her parents, brothers and sisters. Everything was fine there, but she was stricken when they returned.

Katelyn complained about a backache and a half hour or so later, she was paralyzed.

Doctors believe she contracted transverse myelitis, a mysterious, rare disease that injures the spinal cord.

There are only around 1,400 new cases each year, according to the transverse myelitis association. The disease often affects children between the ages of 10-19 years and adults ages 30-39. There is no cure. Sometimes victims recover, at least to some extent, but there has been little improvement in Katelyn in the two months since she was stricken.

She has gained a little feeling in her stomach, but that’s all, her mother said.

Katelyn is currently in Madonna Children’s Hospital in Lincoln, undergoing 2 weeks of intensive therapy. She faces another 12 weeks of outpatient therapy.

She will be in the hospital five days a week, six hours a day. Her mother Danella will stay in Lincoln with her. They are currently looking for a place to live.

So far, insurance has covered the medical treatments, but not the accompanying expenses. The Campbells have used all the inpatient allotment of their insurance policy. So when Katelyn goes to outpatient treatment, they must pay for a place to live.

The ordeal has strained the family. Danella and her husband are raising five children. Last year, Danella drove a Hershey school bus to help pay the bills, but this fall she has been taking care of Katelyn instead.

Help would be welcome, Danella said.

Friends, family and businesses are pitching in. On Aug. 9, hair dresser Tonya Miller at Beyond Envy donated 100 percent of her cuts to the family.

H&W Construction of Hershey and the softball girls built a deck and a wheelchair ramp July 28 on the Campbell’s house.

Ariel Clements raised $2,000 through online tee shirt sales. And, the Hershey seventh graders will hold a bake sale Saturday at the Hershey park with the dunking booth during the Hershey Fall Festival. If anyone would like to donate baked goods to be sold, please bring to the table and give to one of the seventh graders.

Danella said those efforts are deeply appreciated.

Fundraisers are great, Danella said, and for those who would like to make a direct donation, a “Katelyn Campbell Benefit Account” has been established at Wells Fargo.

For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prayers-and-donations-for-katelyn/787854404588101


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/20/2014
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