Washington girl battles severe case of viral meningitis - KPTV - FOX 12

Washington girl battles severe case of viral meningitis

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A local girl is fighting a rare form of viral meningitis.

Elianna Neumann, 10, was admitted to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland about two weeks ago after becoming very ill.

Her medical ordeal began on Sept. 8, her mother said. Elianna's throat was sore. By the end of the next day, she had a fever and was feeling crummy, her mother said. A local doctor determined she had strep throat.

Within a few days, Elianna's condition got much worse, her mother said. She was brought to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, where a spinal tap helped doctors determine she had a severe form of viral meningitis, she added.

"I was in shock, I think. I didn't do anything but cry," Miranda Neumann said. "We've been here for 12 days and I've been crying every night because I don't know what's going to happen."

Doctors haven't determined what form of the infection Elianna has, but her case appears to be rare, Miranda Neumann said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viral meningitis normally occurs in children under the age of 5, and most patients recover on their own within seven to 10 days.

"As a parent, you just worry," Miranda Neumann said. "You wonder. You fear for the future of your child."

Doctors expect Elianna to survive, but they don't know what the lasting impacts will be, Miranda Neumann said. Elianna has also developed pancreatitis and meningoencephalitis, she added.

In addition to her physical health, Miranda Neumann worries about her daughter's mental state. It's touch-and-go, she said. Elianna regresses back to a child-like state at times and sometimes has trouble communicating, she added. 

"She knows where she's at. She knows that she's very sick," Miranda Neumann said. "I don't think she has a grasp of how serious it is and how serious it was."

Miranda Neumann's husband works and her father has come down from Tumwater, WA, to help stay with their other two kids, but she worries about the financial toll her daughter's medical bills will have on her family. She's missed a lot of work so that she can stay by Elianna's side.

Right now, it's simply a waiting game, Miranda Neumann said.

"I would never wish it on my worst enemy. I would never ever wish that any parent see their child suffer like this. Ever," Miranda Neumann said. "She has a long recovery. But I expect her to make a recovery."

Click on the related links for more information about viral meningitis and how you can help Elianna's family with medical expenses. Elianna's great-aunt has set up a GoFundMe.com account to help collect donations, Miranda Neumann said.

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