Katie is a shy teenager who loves martial arts and boxing. She also enjoys shopping for new clothes and watching her favorite TV show, “Criminal Minds.”
Ever since her childhood, Katie has always gotten sick and suffers from frequent fainting spells. At 16, Katie thought she had the flu and would get severely dizzy when she stood up; even her heart was racing! She was sent to several hospitals where doctors ran many tests and, in 2009, they discovered that she suffered from two conditions called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and chiari malformation. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a tissue disorder that causes Katie’s joints to dislocate constantly, causing her severe pain. Chiari malformation is a malformation of the brain that blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranial cavity. This and brain compression are what cause Katie’s fainting spells, dizziness and constant headaches. The chiari malformation also caused a condition called cranial instability in which Katie’s brain is essentially “sinking” into her spine. For this, she has had to endure a fusion surgery and will likely endure more surgeries as her conditions worsen. Katie must also wear a neck collar and rely on a wheelchair for mobility.
For her wish, Katie got a flat screen TV and she loves it. She watches all her favorite shows and is as happy as can be!