clark thomas photographs / nashville

updated April 2012

On July 11, 2012 — Jay was allowed to come home.  HURRAY...!

[And... he’s now 100% completely recovered...!]

On July 6th, Jay was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome (gee-lon bar-ray), and admitted for treatment at Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital. GBS is also known as AIDP (Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy), and follows a pattern of progressing symptoms in which a loss of strength works its way up the legs and often into the arms and breathing muscles. It is called a ‘syndrome’ rather than a disease, because multiple disease-processes can produce the same pattern of clinical illness. Here’s a link with more listed below.

As for the cause... Guillain–Barré syndrome is usually triggered by an acute infection, and is one of several so-called autoimmune diseases in which the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks a component of the body, in this case, the myelin coverings of individual nerve-fibers. So it may be the result of an overactive immune system, or a condition which causes the immune system to overreact. Other examples of autoimmune disease are rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the joints, and psoriasis, in which the immune system attacks the skin. The disease is rare, at 1–2 cases per 100,000 people annually, but is one of the leading causes of acute non-trauma-related paralysis in the world.

Jay at Dr. Mallard's
After an all day car trip back from Florida, Jay was diagnosed with GBS by Dr. Bob Mallard at Heritage Medical on
July 6th, shown here with 4th year medical student Catie Hawley. Mary Beth says this early photo doesn’t show
how badly Jay was affected, that he was totally unable to stand or walk, and how he’d fallen to the ground
five or six times since that morning in Florida. (phone photo)

Susan Sparks at Dr. Mallard's
Dr. Mallard credits his nurse Susan Sparks, as the first to mention how Jay’s symptoms sounded like
Guillain–Barré syndrome, after our description of Jay’s symptoms to her over the phone on July 5th.

So we’re posting some photos and updates here each day, as we are able...

Since we (the parents) are losing our minds trying to update everyone with EVERY bit of news, we thought some might appreciate a place to track what’s up with Jay. His doctors kept praising his great attitude, which clearly shows in these photos, but his condition was very serious.

Visit from the resident neurologist and some medical students
Resident neurologist Dr. Brett Parker brought med students Vanessa & Maria. Neighbor Sissy in foreground. (phone photo)

Tennysons & Cindy
Friday night visitors made it much more fun to be in the hospital. Cindy and the Tennysons!

Hand exercise
Cindy came all the way from Dallas to help. Not sure everything would have gone as well, without her attention.

Walking the halls

Jay finally took a shower, so Saturday was great. And he walked the hall circle three times...!

Huge number of visitors Saturday, from USN and MBA, plus multiple friends with excellent cookies!
Some photos still to come from MB's and other phones.

Lots of walking and practice climbing stairs on Sunday, July 10


Hop and Dylan came to offer encouragement & to play video games


physical therapy

Sneaking down the elevator to play lacrosse outside, with the Bressmans & the Crooks

Free at last, almost as though all this never happened

a taste of playing lacrosse again, with Brian & Nash

Oops...!  Jay totally lost his balance and fell.

He seems to think it was funny though, and worth it, to get out for awhile.

But it was great to get back to the room, and one more day of treatment, healing & video games before heading home.

Nora and Carla Lee (and Clark!).


Sunday home
Back at home, and walking (!) over to visit the neighbors...!

PT @ 100 Oaks
July 15, occupational Therapist Jennifer Pearson evaluating Jay's strength and skin sensitivity.

PT @ 100 Oaks
Physical Therapist Rachael Zoeller gave Jay a series of exercises to do at home, plus evaluations.

PT @ 100 Oaks
Physical therapy is 3x a week at Vanderbilt 100 Oaks, plus 3x a day at home.

PT @ 100 Oaks
Physical Therapist Gladys Harms was Jay's Occupational Therapist today (7/26).

PT @ 100 Oaks
Physical Therapist Jennifer Harrison gave Jay a stronger workout today (7/26) after his return from Dallas,
and she doubled his PT sessions to 60 minutes. His hamstrings and calves are very tight.

This page began on 7/9 and we added more each day.
We may slow down a little now that he's home.

Some additional Links: Physical Therapists on GBS
National Center for Biotechnology Information: Guillain-Barre syndrome
Wikipedia: Guillain–Barré_syndrome
Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel discusses his GBS