Holly’s Journey: From Guillain-Barre Syndrome to Happily Ever After

I was a healthy 26 year old who had just given birth to my first child 20 days earlier when I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). A tingle in my finger and a weakness in my legs brought me to the ER, and within 12 hours I could no longer walk anymore.

The disorder progressed very quickly, and by Day 3, I was in the ICU on life support. I spent almost five months in the hospital; two and a half were spent completely paralyzed from the neck down, breathing on a ventilator. I was unable to move, speak, or hold my newborn baby girl. I was devastated and felt that my life was over.

But slowly, as the months went by, I started to improve. As the paralysis started to fade, I began to learn how to do everything again, including how to breathe off the ventilator, how to use my hands and feed myself, how to hold my daughter, how to brush my teeth and hair, and eventually, how to walk again. My daughter was almost six months old when I was finally able to return to my life as a new mom. After a lot of hard work and rehabilitation, I made an almost complete recovery. My journey was documented in a YouTube video that I shared to inspire others to never give up.

Watch Holly’s journey here.

About the Author | Holly Gerlach

Holly Gerlach is a mother, partner, daughter and friend. Her passion is sharing her experience with GBS with others. She spends a lot of time volunteering with the GBS foundation providing support to others. She enjoys living life to the fullest, doing fun things with her family, going on vacations and spending time with her friends. Holly lives in Edmonton, Canada with her blended family of 5.

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