SMITHVILLE, Mo. (CBS Local) — A Missouri teenager is fighting an illness that has left her completely blind and her doctors baffled. Jordyn Walker, 15, said her medical nightmare started with stomach pain and bloody stools shortly after a family cruise in the summer of 2017.
“It just went haywire from there. Everything started swelling,” Walker told WDAF.
At first, doctors thought it was a sinus infection. Then Walker lost her sense of taste and smell. But after a series of visits to specialists and tests, “everything came back to normal,” said Kendyll Walker, Jordyn’s mom. Doctors called it a “one in a million” episode and said it probably would never happen again.
Then in December 2018, some 16 months after her initial ordeal, Walker’s medical mystery returned. After suffering ten days of stomach pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea, she was taken to the emergency room at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
“My whole face just turned purple and bruised and giant with blood,” she said.
During a 3-4 hour wait in the ER, Walker began to swell, causing a sudden loss of vision.
“It was terrifying to watch it happen all over again and knowing that we couldn’t do anything about it,” Kendyll Walker said.
Walker was admitted to pediatric intensive care and underwent two surgeries to reduce eye swelling. Unfortunately, her blindness was diagnosed as permanent.
“She won’t get a chance to drive. Or see her sisters get married like she wants so much,” Kendyll Walker said.
Jordyn Walker, a skilled archer, photographer and budding journalist, is facing the illness with determination.
“I’m not going to let this stop me,” she said.
The family is hoping someone will find answers to finally help Jordyn heal.
“If anybody has any idea what this could possibly be or what type of testing she could go through to get an answer, so this doesn’t happen again, we would be immensely grateful,” Kendyll Walker said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Jordyn and her family.