VALHALLA, N.Y. – A four-year-old girl from the Bronx named Mya Martinez was released from Blythdale Children’s Hospital on Friday after spending the last couple of months there recovering from a rare nerve disease. Doctors said it was triggered by a COVID-19 infection.
“Thank you for everything,” Mya told hospital staff as she walked out. “I’m feeling good and everybody helped me here.”
Last month, her mother, Marleny Martinez, first noticed she was limping.
“It started getting progressively worse across the days and on Jan. 5, she started collapsing,” Martinez said.
Her family immediately took her to an emergency room in the Bronx.
“They’re trying to do a spinal tap,” Martinez recalled, holding back tears. “They’re trying to do MRI’s. They’re trying to do all this on this poor 4-year-old whose body just can’t take it. At one point I had to stop and say, ‘She’s four. Can we just wait for tomorrow to do more testing?’ Because she was — it was a lot. It was a lot.”
Doctors discovered Miller Fisher syndrome, a rare nerve disease and variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Scott Klein is the Chief Medical Officer at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Westchester County.
“What you usually see is there’s some sort of preceding infection, it could be lots of different kinds of infections, that trigger this inflammatory response against what we call the peripheral nerves,” Dr. Klein said.
Doctors believe COVID-19 was the trigger because Mya tested positive at the Bronx hospital. She was treated with immunoglobulin therapy, which are antibodies for the nerve disease, but that wasn’t the last stop. She had to do physical therapy at Blythedale for a few weeks to build up the strength to start walking again and get back to doing normal things a four-year-old should.
Being away from home for two months, Mya is looking forward to one thing.
“Play with my little sister,” she said.
And she got to do just that.
Martinez said she plans to bring Mya back to school on March 7 saying that the principal will be accommodating with her leg brace and other needs.