Betty Kyallo’s four-year-old daughter Ivanna was early in the year admitted at the ICU after suffering from acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM).
Revealing the condition in her New Year’s Eve message, Kyallo revealed that the rare autoimmune disease sank Ivanna into a deep coma and was on life support for a month.
“Early this year my sweet lovely daughter Ivanna was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. It was marked by a sudden widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord called ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis). Basically, this disease damages the protective coating of the nerve fibres called myelin that acts as conductors to all muscles for basic human functionality.
“What this means is that one day my beautiful four-year-old daughter stopped walking, soon stopped talking, soon stopped eating soon was so drowsy couldn’t keep her eyes open and thereafter went into a deep coma that she had to be taken to ICU and put on life support for a whole month,” wrote Kyallo.
Admitted at Nairobi Hospital, Ivanna spent another four months recuperating.
“For the larger part of her diagnosis doctors couldn’t even figure out what was wrong with her. We did numerous tests looking at every organ and blood but for a long time of hospitalization in Nairobi Hospital Children's Ward, we couldn't find it. All the while she kept deteriorating every day losing one function after another. Today she could talk the next day she couldn't make a sentence. Etc. Thanks to God and the brilliant doctors that were so kind and gracious in their work and how they diligently treated my daughter,” she added.
A period the mother of one described as her lowest moment.
“As a mother, this was my lowest time, I was crushed every day seeing my daughter wasting away and couldn’t do anything. I was depressed, cried silently sometimes hoping God would see my tears. I always feared going to the ward or ICU because I wasn't sure what function she would lose the next day or hour. Thankfully God saw my tears. After almost four months of hospitalization starting from February to mid-June including one month in ICU my daughter Ivanna celebrated her birthday at home on June 22nd.
The celebrated journalist noted that her daughter has fully recovered and that the post on Ivanna’s struggles with ADEM was a celebration of God’s miracle.
“She restarted school in September this year doing so well. She has fully recovered her mobility, vocal ability and all other cognitive abilities that she lost. She's even bolder, more confident, talks too much, more intelligent and it’s nothing short of a miracle. God has truly come through for me and my family in a big way. That's why I couldn't fail to glorify Him through this post. I saw my blessing and miracle,” narrated the anchor.
She at the same time stressed that whilst she has chosen to open up now, she plans to share more and reiterated that it was not a call for sympathy.
“It took a lot of convincing for me to share what I am about to share due to its sensitivity and privacy in nature, however, I feel I won't have done my duty to thank God for not abandoning us If I decide to be silent about it. If at the end of this message I will give heart to someone going through the same challenge, anxiety, fear and Loneliness I’ll sleep better…
“This is not a sympathy post or a wooooye post. I am happier, stronger, more courageous and grateful. Ivanna is great. A little queen. So please instead of anyone feeling sorry for me or my family kindly make an effort to support, visit, encourage anyone you know is sick or has a sick loved one in hospital/home. As you end this year and pray for one another. Love one another. Be kind to one another.”
The TV siren was blessed with Ivanna shortly before she parted ways with NTV investigative journalist Dennis Okari in 2016 .