Shelby Allen, a 17-year-old from Dyer County, Tennessee, is hospitalized with a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its nerves. She developed the condition after getting a COVID vaccine.
A 17-year-old hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) — a condition she developed after receiving a COVID vaccine — said she’s thankful she isn’t paralyzed and didn’t die.
Shelby Allen, who lives in Dyer County, Tennessee, said she started experiencing back pain and tingling in her arms a few weeks ago at a wedding. Her symptoms progressed until she found herself unable to feel her arms and legs while bowling with her school’s team.
“I’m on the bowling team in Dyer County, and I noticed when I was throwing the ball, I couldn’t feel my arm and legs,” Allen said. “So, I was freaking out.”
Her parents took her to a doctor in Jackson, Tennessee, where she was diagnosed with GBS. She was admitted to the ICU at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for treatment.
“When we got in, my doctor … told me right off the bat what she thought it was. She said ‘you have Guillain-Barré,’” Allen said.
Dr. Nick Hysmith, the medical director of infection prevention at Le Bonheur, said GBS is where “the body’s immune system gets a little bit confused and targets your nerve cells, and that leads to weakness.”