- A Missouri teenager who went on a cruise with her family was left with a mystery illness that caused her to go blind.
- The fifteen-year-old is currently fighting a still-undiagnosed medical condition, and doctors don’t even know what it is.
- Jordyn Walker’s medical nightmare began after returning from a cruise she had with her family last year.
A teenage girl from Missouri went on a cruise with her family last year but when she returned, she suffered a still-undiagnosed illness that caused her to be permanently blind.
Jordyn Walker suffered from stomach pain accompanied by bloody stools, local CBS affiliate WDAF reports.
After running a series of tests, the doctors sent her home with a diagnosis of a sinus infection. But the 15-year-old ended up losing her sense of taste and smell so she decided to see several specialists who ran more tests.
“Everything came back normal,” said Jordyn’s mom, Kendyll Walker.
However, just two weeks before Christmas, Jordyn ‘s mystery illness came back, worse than before.
“My whole face just turned purple and bruised and giant with blood,” the teen said.
“It was terrifying to watch it happen all over again and knowing that we couldn’t do anything about it,” her mother told WDAF.
Jordyn was rushed to the emergency room at the University of Kansas Hospital, and ended up in pediatric intensive care. She was inpatient for 16 days, underwent more tests, was given medications and had two surgeries to reduce swelling in her eyes.
After all these, but doctors still have no idea what happened.
“There’s no answers. There’s nothing they could do,” Kendyll recalled.
Jordyn now is permanently blind from her illness. “She won’t get a chance to drive,” Kendyll added. “Or see her sisters get married like she wants so much.”
There’s no obvious answer for what could have caused Jordyn’s illness, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“It’s also possible that it’s not caused by one single disease,” Adalja says. “It’s possible that she had a bacterial infection that caused the initial GI symptoms and that spread systemically to her eye.”
Vatinee Bunya, MD, co-director of the Penn Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Center, agrees.
“Infections can affect any part of the eye and cause a variety of problems such as corneal ulcers, severe inflammation inside the eye, or damage to the retina or optic nerve,” Bunya tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“Severe infections or inflammation inside the eye can also lead to increased eye pressure or glaucoma. If any of these are severe enough or are difficult to control or treat, they can lead to blindness or loss of the eye.”
Norovirus and influenza are the biggest things you need to worry about on cruises, according to Bunya, not a mystery illness that makes people go blind and lose their taste.