Usually, happy 15-year-old Morgan Larance from Fort Worth, Texas woke up feeling poorly one morning. The teen went into school, but had to go to the nurse’s office when she felt ill.
The school nurse checked Larance’s blood pressure and noted her fever. Larance called her mom, Jennifer Kimbro, to come pick her up at school.
Unfortunately, her fever got worse. When the girl’s temperature topped 104 degrees a few hours later, Kimbro took Larance to the ER as a precaution.
The hospital tested her and told her that she had the flu.
Larance felt much better, and went ahead to a prescheduled appointment with the doctor two days later. The teenager had regular exams because of an inflamed esophagus.
Nothing out of order was noted at the check-up. Kimbro decided to keep Larance home for one more day.
Thinking everything was ok, Kimbro went to work. But then the teenager didn’t answer the phone when she tried calling to check on her. Kimbro hurried home and found her daughter unresponsive lying on the sofa.
She was unconscious in the hospital for nine days before she surfaced. Larance was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called acute necrotizing encephalopathy. It can be triggered in people with serious cases of the flu.
The ANE resulted in the formation of lesions, which injured Larance’s brain stem and spinal cord.
Her rehab and recovery have been slow so far, but there are signs of improvement. Larance is squeezing her mother’s hand and has produced a few speech sounds. She still cannot move, but doctors say the encephalopathy seems to be fading.
The Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Larance’s school, Jason Briles, noted in an interview with local media:
“The hardest part is not getting to see her smiling face. She was the life of every conversation. There was never a dull moment around her. It’s tough on the kids.”