The nightmare for 15-year-old Morgan Larance's family started with just the flu. Larance's mom, Jennifer Kimbro, says her daughter had a 104 degree fever, so she took her to the ER, where she was treated and released. Days later, Kimbro found her daughter unresponsive at home.
“She was still breathing but she was unresponsive. She never woke up since until this week,” said Kimbro.
Larance was flown to cook children's in Fort Worth. For weeks, the family didn't know what was causing Larance's illness until doctors diagnosed her with a rare brain infection called Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy. Doctors told the family to prepare for the worst.
“I tell her look, the doctors don't believe you can do this Morgan, so we gotta show them.” Said her father, Michael Larance, “We're going to walk out those front doors so you just keep fighting, baby.
The disease has wreaked havoc on Larance's body, partially collapsing one of her lungs and causing her to lose control of some of her limbs.
“This is really rare. It's something that a medical team will see once in their career,” said Dr. Cedric Spak, with Baylor, Scott & White Hospital in Fort Worth. Dr. Spak is a consultant for infectious diseases, he is not working on Larance’s case, but says the flu can sometimes have more serious complications, where it attacks different parts of the body.
“When it attacks the brain, the virus actually causes a malfunction in the immune system, and the immune system then attacks the brain tissue as well,” said Dr. Spak.
As Larance fights her way through this disease, her family just wants to warn other parents to take the warning signs of a typical flu seriously.
“Don't ignore the headache. If your child has the flu and they say they have a splitting headache, especially on girls where like the ponytail goes, you just bring them here,” said Jennifer Kimbro.
The family doesn’t know the extent of the damage the disease has done, but says Morgan is somewhat conscious and responsive.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.
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