Mysterious Brain-Swelling Illness Kills Georgia Woman Aug 4, 2015 9:20:13 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 4, 2015 9:20:13 GMT -5
Mysterious Brain-Swelling Illness Kills Georgia Woman
A Georgia woman died less than three weeks after she toppled over from an unknown illness, her family said. Stephanie Ballard (above) went into cardiac arrest Sunday due to complications of a mysterious brain swell that began in mid-July, her husband said. “She has been surrounded by family and friends all day ... and passed away peacefully this evening,” Pete Ballard posted online.
The Atlanta woman thought she had come down with the flu July 15 after a day at the pool with her two young daughters, ages 4 and 6. But fever soon gave way to dizziness and partial paralysis. Her husband rushed her to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital where doctors puzzled over the surprise collapse of the active mother of two. Medical tests ruled out an aneurysm, stroke and various infections, but doctors found startling inflammation in Ballard’s brain. The paralysis struck her right side first, but her family remained hopeful.
Friends set up a GoFundMe online fundraiser to help with medical bills and what they expected to be a long-term, expensive recovery for the self-employed family. Pete Ballard posted regular updates on the page. “They do believe her brain will heal and that intensive rehab and therapy is her best hope for a full recovery,” he posted after her fourth day in intensive care. “The brain turns off quickly, but takes a long time to restart.”
Ballard seemed to be healing, even standing with the help of a walker after more than two weeks in the hospital, but her health took a devastating turn in recent days. Her husband noticed the left side of her smile had begun to droop and doctors confirmed the paralysis was shifting across her body. “Please continue to keep Stef and her doctors in your thoughts and prayers tonight,” Pete Ballard wrote in a recent update.
She would never recover. The swelling constricted the blood vessels in Ballard’s brain and the cardiac arrest cut off oxygen Sunday. An 11th-hour bid to relieve the pressure by inserting a tube into her brain failed and Ballard died surrounded by friends and family.
“We are so grateful for the love that she showered on us, and the wonderful, funny, smart, stylish, and generous person we all knew and loved,” a final post read. “She was a blessing to all who knew her.”
Source: Doyle Murphy, The New York Daily News, August 3, 2015.