In July, British teen Savannah Geddes was home with her parents when, all of a sudden, she noticed a tingling sensation in her legs. Moments later, an immense amount of pain shot up her back — so much so that her parents called an ambulance. A few hours later, Savannah had no sensation in her legs; she was reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.
“Savannah was in terrible pain and we had no idea what was going on,” the 13-year-old’s mother, Sue, told SWNS, a British news agency.
An MRI at Sheffield Children’s Hospital revealed the teen was suffering from acute spinal stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the spinal cord is cut off. When this happens, the spinal cord is deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients that it requires to work properly, as per Medical News Today.
“The spine uses nerve impulses to communicate with different parts of the body. In severe cases of spinal stroke, the lack of communication can cause paralysis and may be life-threatening,” it adds.
Typically, spinal strokes occur from blood clots in blood vessels. Symptoms are often sudden, as in Savannah’s case, and include “extreme” pain in the neck and back, according to Medical News Today. Muscle spasms, numbness, loss of bladder control, tingling, muscle weakness, and paralysis are all signs.
The teen remained at the hospital for the next few months before she was cleared to return home in October. During her stay at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Savannah, who required assistance with simple tasks such as getting dressed, relearned how to walk. However, she still requires crutches for extra support, SWNS reports.
But through everything, hospital staff has reportedly called the teen "remarkable" for her recovery efforts.
"The staff makes her feel so special and I have no doubt that they’ve aided Savannah’s determination,” said Sue. “I’ve been so proud of her throughout this difficult time."
To pay it forward, Savannah and her family have raised roughly $4,700 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, according to SWNS.
Added Sue: “If our fundraising can help other children, too, it will be more than worth it.”