Three weeks ago Opal Trimble, the youngest Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) patient on record, was released from The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
AFM is a rare but serious condition. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and flexes in the body to become weak. The CDC estimates AFM syndrome occurs in one in a million people.
When Opal first arrived at the Hospital she was on a ventilator that supported her breathing and was unable to move her head, arms, and legs. Within weeks the physicians at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital were able to take Opal off the ventilator, and when she left the Hospital she was able to move her head, arms, and legs on her own.
Today, Opal continues her recovery at home and is doing very well. She participates in various therapies throughout the week and is enjoying time with her family.
“Opal loves being here, especially getting to see her brother and sister every day. They shower her with love and attention, and they can get the biggest smiles from her without much trying. It is such a sweet thing to see Opal interact with them,” said Gretchen Trimble, Opal’s mother.
The family describes their experience as a day-to-day journey, thankful for how far they have come.
“Since we’ve been home it’s been wonderful to doing normal things,” said Trimble. “We eat dinner together, read books, take walks and play outside. These are moments we cherish like never before and realize how much we took for granted. We have so very much to be thankful for, praise be to God!”
To donate to the medical programs that helped Opal transition from Hospital to home, click here.
See the video below as Josh and Gretchen Trimble share their journey.