Ever since going on a cruise in summer 2017, Missouri teen Jordyn Walker has been struggling with a mystery illness taking away her senses.
Shortly after returning from the cruise in July 2017, Jordyn “lost her senses of smell and taste,” according to KMBC. The illness — which also caused the 15-year-old from Smithville to bleed in places such as her eyes and ears — left multiple doctors confused and unable to come up with a diagnosis.
“We went to every specialty — allergy, immunology, rheumatology — every specialty, with no answers,” Kendyll Walker, the teen’s mother, told KMBC. “We were searching and were told it was a one in a million case and probably would never happen again.”
Over a year after the teen recovered from the original bout of illness, it came back in December 2018, according to Fox4.
Jordyn is now blind after the mystery illness again began to ravage the girl’s body a few weeks before Christmas, according to a GoFundMe page created to cover her medical expenses.
It’s a hard reality to accept for a young woman just starting out her life, her mom told Fox4.
“She won’t get a chance to drive,” she told the outlet. “Or see her sisters get married like she wants so much.”
Jordyn went to the emergency room on the afternoon of December 12 with “severe stomach pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea,” the page says, and her health began to deteriorate even more.
“During the 3 to 4-hour wait in the ER, Jordyn began to swell, causing a sudden loss of vision,” the page reads. “The pressure behind Jordyn’s eyes was an average of 85 mm Hg - the normal eye pressure is around 12-22 mm Hg. Ophthalmologists cut slits by her eyes to detach her eyelids and to try and open the eye socket in order to reduce swelling.”
Doctors also removed bones near her eye sockets to fight against the swelling. But despite their best efforts, “it was determined that Jordyn would be completely blind,” according to the GoFundMe page.
As Jordyn’s “whole face just turned purple and bruised and giant with blood” during the second bout of the illness, her mom could do little more than sit and watch helplessly, according to Fox4.
“It was terrifying to watch it happen all over again,” she told Fox4, “and knowing we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Her family created a Facebook page titled “Jordyn’s Cause Funding Research and Recovery” to provide updates on her condition. A post on the page described her as “an exceptional photographer for her school’s journalism program.”
The GoFundMe page lamented that Jordyn — who is also the lead editor of her high school’s newspaper — will now no longer be able to do many of the things she loves.
“Jordyn is a very keen member of Smithville High’s archery team, qualifying for the state tournament,” the page reads. “Jordyn was excited to return as Manager for the school Baseball team this spring.
“Losing her eyesight will cause major lifestyle changes as she begins her journey beyond the hospital.”
Despite that tough news, Jordyn has an “incredible spirit and sense of humor (that) is helping her overcome this tragedy,” her family wrote on Facebook. The post included a video that showed the teenager having some lighthearted fun in her hospital room.
She was finally released from the hospital on December 28. A video on her Facebook page shows the moment the teen was escorted out in a wheelchair.
As her family hopes to find an answer, Jordyn is left reflecting on just how quickly — and mercilessly — the illness struck.
“There wasn’t, like, an hour of my time when I didn’t think I was going to die,” Jordyn told KMBC. “Things get taken from you so quickly and you don’t know when it’s going to happen.”