Brianna Skriver was a happy, healthy 5-year-old when her mother, Tammy, first noticed a problem with her daughter's walk. Today, five years later, Brianna cannot walk, talk or swallow food, and doctors have no idea why.
"Going from having a normal healthy child who is active and laughing and getting into things, to a child that cannot walk or talk or tell me her pains is excruciating," Tammy, a single mother of two from Central Florida, told WFTV.
Throughout the past five years, Brianna, now 10, has undergone several tests, including a biopsy of her brain. With no diagnosis, Brianna's doctors cannot work to combat the debilitating symptoms, which are getting increasingly worse, according to the report. Brianna is now one of only of a hundred patients admitted into a national undiagnosed diseases program.
The Office of Rare Diseases Research works to try to solve medical mysteries, like Brianna's, using a combination of scientific and medical expertise and resources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to its website.
The NIH offered to help with testing in the case of the mysterious Tourette-like symptoms displayed by a group of female students at LeRoy High School in New York this January.
Brianna's family has organized lemonade sales and sold $2 rubber "Friends of Brianna" bracelets to try to raise money for the girl's care. There is also a Facebook and GiveForward page for those who want to donate money to help cover an experimental treatment not covered by the family's insurance.
On the Give Forward page, Brianna's mother says she draws hope from the story of another little girl with similar symptoms.
Carli, a 7-year-old from South Africa, had autism and seizures, becoming "almost like a zombie," before her doctors recommended a trip to the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte, N.C., Fox Charlotte reports. Her American doctor put the little girl on a strict diet, and took her off her daily medications.
Once unable to walk or talk, Carli made an amazing recovery and began to play and make noises. Her doctors say there is a 60 percent chance she'll regain speech.