Holly Gerlach, at the age of 26 gave birth to her first child. After being released from the hospital she started feeling weak and noticed a pain in her neck too. 20 days after giving birth, she got diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome also called GBS.
“We were sitting on the couch videotaping Casey, who was starting to hold her head up on her own,” Holly writes in her book, Happily Ever After. She adds:
“I remember then I noticed one of my fingertips was a little numb and tingly, but I didn’t think anything of it. It kind of felt like the tingling when you burn yourself, and I figured that I must have burnt myself on something earlier and didn’t pay any more attention to it. Later, I started to feel really tired and weak and I thought I must be getting the flu again. But pretty quickly, my weakness got worse.”
Within 72 hours, the young mother was paralyzed completely and couldn’t breathe on her own. She spent 4 months like that in the hospital the ICU breathing on a ventilator with her new baby still at home.
GBS is a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system. The initial symptoms are typically changes in sensation or pain along with muscle weakness, beginning in the feet and hands.
But for good luck, she started to recover again. She had to learn to do everything all over again including breathing, eating, drinking, walking and holding her daughter again.
Since then, she published her new book called “Happily Ever After” where she writes about her journey with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and how she got her life back. Her goal is to share awareness for this devastating disease, and inspire others that everything is possible and never to give up.
In the video below, you can see Holly’s story documented and her journey from paralysis to recovery.
Though the first part of the video is heartbreaking, wait until you see Holly’s miraculous transformation by the end. I can’t believe it’s the same woman we meet in the ICU!