A Pretoria teenager has spent the past two weeks in complete paralysis and doctors are struggling to make a diagnosis on his condition.
Seventeen-year-old Giovanni Hendriks has spent the past 13 days under medical surveillance at the intensive care unit at Kalafong Hospital, however, doctors are still struggling to diagnose him and are therefore unable to cure him.
Hendricks, who is a pupil at Hoërskool Tuine, returned home on Monday, 25 February 2019 complaining of not feeling well. His mother, Elize Hendricks, says her son came home saying he felt drained and that he had no strength left in him.
She rushed him to hospital, where a doctor diagnosed him with the flu and gave him some pain medication before sending them home. The family woke up the next day to find Giovanni in a worsened state.
“I had to call an ambulance because he was totally paralysed. He couldn’t move or swallow or speak. They took him back to Pretoria West hospital. To this day, the doctors cannot deduce what is wrong with him and he remains totally paralysed. They are treating him for every infection and bacteria they can think of,” said Elize.
According to Elize, Giovanni was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome about nine years ago. The syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease that attacks healthy nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system, which can cause paralysis due to the damage it causes in the nervous system.
To date, Giovanni has undergone two MRI scans, one CTI scan and two lumber punctures, yet doctors are still struggling to ascertain what they should be treating him for.