Patient with rare disorder released from St Joseph's/Candler

Patient with rare disorder released from St. Joseph's/Candler

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - St. Joseph's/Candler recently treated a patient with a very rare disorder.

While not many people get it, doctors say it's important that you know about it.
It's called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It's when your body's immune system attacks your nerves.

While the chances are very small that you or someone you know will get it, doctors say it's important to know the warning signs so if you do get it, you can get treatment fast.
Eddie Skeens wasn't in an accident. He just started feeling weird one day.

"Pain in my feet and tingling and numbness and then it worked its way up my legs," he said. "Within two days I didn't have any mobility at all."

That's a big adjustment, especially for this active farmer from Glennville.

"I couldn't lift my hands, fingers, or legs."

Doctors diagnosed him with Guillain-Barre Syndrome or GBS.  Dr. Raj with St. Joseph's Candler explains what that is.

"It's an autoimmune disorder, monophasic, that means it usually happens once and doesn't recur, where the body attacks itself," he said.

Dr. Raj says about only one in 100,000 people get it and most recover very well.  However, he says it's still important to know about it because it can be very serious.

"There are some very, very bad complications that can happen and people can go downhill very, very quickly."

Doctors are still working to figure out why some people get it and others don't.

"There are some things that we think can trigger it," said Dr. Raj. "The most common thing is bad respiratory illness or GI illness."

As for Eddie, he was recently released from the hospital. After a two month stay, he says he's ready to leave.

"I just want to go home."

Dr. Raj says if you suddenly have a problem walking you should see your doctor right away.  He says you can have trouble walking for a number of reasons and it's unlikely to be GBS, but it's always better to get checked out.

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