After receiving a “one in a million” diagnosis and being hospitalized for a rare disease, the parents of five-month-old baby, Opal Rose Trimble, have seen improvements to their daughter’s health.
Six weeks ago, Gretchen and Josh Trimble of Shawnee rushed Opal to the hospital after she became extremely sick from a cold. She was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, which is a rare condition that affects the spinal cord and causes struggle with motor function.
According to Opal’s mother, Gretchen Trimble, Opal has improved while she’s been at Integris Children’s at Baptist Medical Center.
“We’ve come leaps and bounds from when we first started but on the same token, we have a long way to go,” Gretchen said. “Over the course of the last two to three weeks, we’ve noticed just small improvements every day. Especially in movement and in her arms and her legs because she had no movement to begin with.”
Opal was transferred to Bethany Children’s Center Thursday morning, where Gretchen said she will undergo the next phase of her recovery.
“Opal is the youngest documented case, so her care team will work together to determine the best therapies and rehab to help her recover,” Gretchen said.
The five-month-old is the third person in the state to contract this disease and her treatment has been considered experimental.
“This is one of the hardest things we have ever faced, seeing your child go from perfectly healthy one day to barely able to breathe or move the next,” Gretchen said.
However, despite the hardship of Opal’s illness, Gretchen said many people from the Shawnee community have helped the family in several ways from donating money to cleaning their house.
“It’s been scary and heavy and draining. And we’re not sure what the next few weeks and months ahead look like, but we do know this, we are surrounded by a community who has showed us genuine love and care through a very uncertain time,” Gretchen said. “Our lives have forever been impacted by this experience and certainly by our friends, family and community who have surrounded us in ways we never dreamed.”
The mother of three said she and her husband are forever grateful and don’t know how they’ll ever be able to repay those who’ve come to their aid.
“Thank you seems so inadequate but right now it’s all we can say,” Gretchen said.
As Opal begins the next step in her recovery, Gretchen said she and her husband are faithful their daughter will be okay.
“We believe rehab is where healing will come, whether that’s a few weeks or a few years. We know, though, that ultimate healing comes from Him and we continue to trust in God to do exceedingly abundantly above all we think or expect,” Gretchen said.
A Facebook page was created for people to check on Opal’s progress and it can be found on the social media site under Team Trimble Battles ASF-Opal’s Fight.