Stillwater girl's mystery illness stumps doctors
Doctors across the state are baffled by a young Stillwater girl's mystery illness. She's been experiencing tremors and neurological symptoms for the past year, but no one can explain why.
Jennifer Brown says her 7-year-old daughter Jenna has undergone just about every test there is to do, and now there is only one more option. But it's an option that costs almost $8,000 out of pocket, money the family doesn't have.
Brown says she prays for a miracle every day. She and her daughter have been living a nightmare for the past year.
"It's literally my child is a medical mystery in itself, as crazy as that sounds," said Brown.
In June of last year the Brown family was getting ice cream. Suddenly, Jenna's hands started shaking uncontrollably and she couldn't get the ice cream up to her mouth.
"Her hands are shaking so bad. It's kind of like full force shaking."
They rushed Jenna to the emergency room and since then it's been nothing but doctors and tests. Every test Jenna gets comes back negative. She's had CT's, MRI's, EKG's, EEG's and more blood work than Brown can even remember.
Jenna's hands still shake, although some days are better than others. When she's tired or upset the tremors get worse, and only get better if she settles down. Jenna can no longer tie shoes and daily life has changed.
"She doesn't carry glass plates or glasses of any sort because if she does, if her hands shake too much, she drops stuff," said Brown.
Jenna even had an episode at school where she didn't know who she was and couldn't recognize colors.
"They've checked her brain. Her brain is perfectly healthy. They've checked her heart. Her heart is perfectly fine. Every test they've done says she's a perfectly healthy 7-year-old."
The only thing left is a full genetic makeup test, one that's not covered by insurance. Jenna's doctors say right now that might be the only way to find the answer.
"We'll keep doing it and keep doing it until we get an answer," said Brown. "If we don't get an answer at least I'll know that I tried to give her an answer. That's what moms are supposed to do."
Jenna regularly sees a pediatric neurologist, a genetic specialist and an ophthalmologist. She also takes seven different anti-seizure medications every day.
The family has set up an online fundraising page to help raise the $8,000 needed for genetic testing.