Community rallying around 8-year-old girl battling rare neurological condition

The condition essentially unheard-of, with only other recorded instance happening more than 30 years ago.

Community rallying around 8-year-old battling rare condition

WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Dozens of people are rallying around a Warren County girl as she battles an incredibly rare neurological condition.

Paisley Chatterton’s life changed on Feb. 25, 2021. Her mother, Allison Chatterton, says her sassy, smart 8-year-old daughter went to school and suddenly got sick.

“She got off the bus, running and laughing and playing with her friends,” Allison said. “Within 15 to 20 minutes, she was complaining of neck pain and said her stomach hurt, so she went to the nurse’s office. Probably 10 more minutes, she had vomited twice and couldn’t move from the neck down.”

Since then, Paisley’s condition has been touch and go. While being transported from one hospital to another, Allison said Paisley stopped breathing and lost her heart rate for 11 to 15 minutes.

About a week after Paisley fell ill, Allison says Paisley’s medical team diagnosed her with a Polio-like neurological condition called Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AFM affects the spinal cord and causes muscles and reflexes to become weak. Doctors told Allison they believe Paisley’s AFM was caused by a bacteria that Paisley could have contracted outside, at school or from food.

“The two of the diagnoses together - the last time it was seen was 1984, and they don’t have any documentation before that, so they said that Paisley very well may be in, like, medical journals and things like that now,” Allison said.

Paisley has since been getting different kinds of treatment. According to Allison, Paisley spent time on a ventilator, had a feeding tube and has taken steroids and antibiotics.

It has not been easy, but it does not affect Paisley’s spirit.

“She’s a strong little girl. She’s been super positive,” Allison said. “She’s remained smiling all the time, laughing, having a good time.”

As days go by, Paisley is improving and is eating and breathing on her own. Next, Allison says, the second-grader will be moved to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for rehabilitation.

Paisley’s shocking symptoms and rare diagnosis have taught Allison an important life lesson that she wants to share - always try to stay hopeful, and never take time with your loved ones for granted.

“Silly things that maybe, you know, seemed like a big deal at the time are not,” Allison said. “Just enjoy your time with your babies.”

Paisley’s Franklin City Schools classmates have been showing support, and so have strangers. From selling t-shirts to bracelets to keychains, there have been numerous fundraisers.

One of the upcoming fundraisers is scheduled for March 27 at Camp Chautauqua. It will be a dance class benefitting Paisley and several other children. The class is from 10 a.m. to noon and costs $5.

Roscoe’s Pizza is also reportedly planning to host a food truck event for Paisley and her family.

“Shade & Fitz” is raising money for Paisley by selling stud earrings. Two stud packs are $15, and $10 of each purchase is supposed to go to Paisley and her family. Those interested in ordering can do so through Facebook.

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