A 23-year-old Tampa man finally returned home after receiving treatment in Massachusetts for a rare, debilitating disorder linked to COVID-19.
According to Newsweek, Desmon Silva was rushed to the hospital in July after experiencing neck pain and losing sensation in his hands. He was placed on a ventilator and transferred to Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge where he spent months undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.
Silva was diagnosed with Weston-Hurst syndrome, a rare and potentially deadly disorder associated with COVID-19. Weston-Hurst, a rare and severe form of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), is an auto-immune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) that is more common in children, but can affect adults, according to Children’s Health.
Weston-Hurst not only involves the loss of protective myelin around tissues of the CNS such as the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, it also may be accompanied by bleeding in the brain.
This can lead to loss of vision, coordination, and paralysis, according to Newsweek. Silva developed the rare disorder two months after battling COVID-19. Researchers do not know the exact reasons why some people develop ADEM after COVID-19, but they said it is an area of concern.
At the University College London, scientists said that they have seen an increase of cases of ADEM since the pandemic began indicating that COVID-19 may exacerbate the disorder. The researchers wrote that the possible link “warrants close surveillance.”
Silva now can eat and speak and has regained feeling in his body, according to Newsweek. However, he requires specialized care and equipment such as wheelchairs, electric lifts, and a special bed.
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