MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida mother of three young daughters has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome, otherwise known as OMS.
OMS strikes one in 10,000,000 children in the United States. Not much is known about the disorder, only that, in adults, it can be caused by a general viral infection like the flu.
Kristin Quezada, 29-year-old mother, began experiencing flu like symptoms before the family flew to Wyoming for a family vacation. When they arrived, Kristin’s symptoms got worse and she was admitted to the ER.
Unable to treat her in Wyoming, Kristin was quickly transferred to a hospital in Denver, Colorado. It took doctors more than 10 days to diagnose her with OMS.
Kristin’s husband, Kyle Quezada, said it has been difficult to watch his wife struggle with the illness.
“It’s tough to look at your wife at 29 when we are starting a workout plan the week before to now not be able to sit on a bed on a 30 degree angle – to not be able to hold her head up in a wheelchair.”
Kyle said the symptoms are devastating.
“She had no control of her eye movement – no control of her body movement – she can talk but she has extreme amounts of nausea – she feels like she is on a rollercoaster all day long – she tries to sit up and she shakes,” said Kyle.
Once Kristin was stabilized her family decided to bring her home to Florida. But she had to be flown in a private jet that would have cost the family $18,000—money they did not have. Kyle called a friend for help and hoped Kevin Tacher, who is connected with a number of charities, would have a solution.
“I reached out to a few of the charities I work with it just didn’t fit with what they were willing to do – a friend said why don’t we try 100 donating a 180 dollars,” Tacher said.
Kevin built a website, http://www.flykristinhome.com, and spread the word through social media and email.
Twenty-seven hours later, hundreds of people had helped fulfill a wish. The community helped raise $22,000 and Kristin was flown home on a private jet and admitted to Broward Health North.
While Kristin is now physically close to her family, she is still far from being home. In fact, she missed her oldest daughter’s 5th birthday. Her husband Kyle said she is having hard time and missing the children; Jordan 5-years-old, Ja’el 3-years-old and Aaliyah.
“We missed our oldest’s first day of school. Obviously she is missing her birthday. So it’s hard on her just because of the major events of our oldest daughter, she is not a part of,” said Kyle.
To try to protect the children from the stress of their mother’s illness, the family organized a birthday party for 5-year-old Jordan.
“I hope that mommy feels better,” Jordan told CBS was her birthday wish.
The family is relying on each other and the community to bring Kristin home.
Kristin is now receiving a blood transfusion and the family is hopeful that the treatment will work – but doctors have told the family it will be take not days and weeks but months before she gets better.
In the meantime, the community has helped raise over $35,000 to help the family with their medical bills.
If you want to connect with the family visit, http://www.flykristinhome.com