Lakita G. - Diagnosed Age 15
At the age of 15, the summer after my sophomore year in high school, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. It was a normal day like any other when I began to develop stomach pain. I developed a low grade fever along with the stomach pain soon after. My mother decided to take me to see my Primary Care Doctor and he prescribed some pain medicine and diagnosed me with a stomach virus.
The next day the pain continued to intensify and spread all over my body and I developed a high fever so my mother decided to take me to the emergency room. The ER doctor prescribed antibiotics and also pain medicine and told my mom that it was the influenza based on my symptoms of having a high fever, and all over body pain. My mother took me home and within a couple of hours I was crying in so much pain that she took me back to the emergency room and this time demanded that they see me right away and run some tests.
The medical staff decided to run a CT Scan of my abdomen and some blood tests. After the tests, the doctor still was unable to determine what was causing me so much pain so they decided to admit me to the hospital and do a discovery surgery and remove my appendix. Within 24 hours, my fever spiked to 104 degrees and I developed pneumonia. At this point, my vitals signs were dropping and my heart had enlarged and I was placed in the Intensive Care Unit and other specialist doctors were called in to help determine what was wrong with me.
I stopped breathing on my own and was placed on a ventilator and was heavily sedated. The doctors expressed to my mother that I only had a few days to live if they did not find the cause soon.
I was finally diagnosed with SLE and began treatment. I spent 45 days in the hospital and had to go through rehabilitation before being released from the hospital. Miraculously with the help of God and my wonderful team of doctors, I left the hospital and was able to start school that August with only having to continue to take two medicines which I am happy to say I no longer have to take because I have been in remission since 2010.