Caroline Bradner’s father said she had waited tables for a few months after graduation to save up enough money for her trip to Thailand, where she was teaching English.
The family of a recent University of Mississippi graduate who has been teaching in Thailand since October is racing to raise funds to transfer her back home to Virginia after she developed a paralyzing disorder that’s left her unable to move from the neck down. Caroline Bradner, 22, reportedly complained of fatigue and weakness before experiencing full-blown paralysis.
Bradner, who according to the family’s GoFundMe page has since been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, has been in the hospital since shortly before Christmas, and will reportedly need medical clearance and be accompanied by a nurse on the 26-hour journey home, but cannot board a commercial flight.
Bradner’s mother flew out to be with her on Christmas Eve.
Her father, Jim Bradner, told WTVR that the family’s insurance company has denied their request to cover her transfer home.
“The hospital there has put out bids to get us costs and we should know something in the next two to three days,” he told the news outlet, adding that they aren’t sure how long it’ll take his daughter to recover.
Guillain-Barre syndrome causes a patient’s immune system to attack the nerves, and typically first presents as weakness and tingling in the limbs. According to the Mayo Clinic, the sensations quickly spread and cause eventual paralysis, which nearly always requires hospitalization.
The family is raising funds to cover the cost of transporting her back to their home in Virginia.
While there is no known cure, treatment options can help ease symptoms and while patients are expected to eventually recover, some may experience lingering weakness, numbness or fatigue.
According to the family’s GoFundMe page, Bradner’s mother was able to fly to Thailand on Christmas Eve to be with her daughter, who has been pictured smiling alongside her care team.
“She’s scared because she can’t move,” Bradner’s sister, Pierce, told WTVR. “But she is really strong and really brave. She’s a great person, the best sister.”