Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Oklahoma girl diagnosed with AFM comes home from hospital

NORMAN, Okla. - Another child in our state is battling a rare condition called AFM, Acute Flaccid Myelitis.

It's a polio-like disease that affects your ability to walk, talk and eat.

But, on Tuesday after weeks of treatment and rehab, 6-year-old Mackenzie Lacher got to go home, just days before her birthday.

The Lacher family says they never thought the day would ever come.

“Going home,” said Mackenzie.

Mackenzie and the Lacher family were all smiles Tuesday, but a few weeks ago, Mackenzie got what they thought was a cold that then took a terrible turn.

“She wasn`t responding to her name," said Mandi Lacher. “She was just asleep. Even when the doctors came in and checked her reflexes, she didn't have any reflexes."

Doctors say Mackenzie is the 3rd child in Oklahoma to be diagnosed this year with AFM.

“That process is a lot of inflammation that happens particularly in the spinal cord,” said Tami McMichael, with The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. “They get really weak. They may have fever present at the hospital and they just can't move well."

And doctors say they still don't know exactly what causes AFM.

Mackenzie's mom says it they were horrified.

“Once she woke up from her coma, it was kind of rough,” said Mandi Lacher. “She didn`t handle it very well. She didn't really understand what was going on."

Doctors say for other parents not to worry too much. AFM is extremely rare, but to just be cautious. If your child becomes severely sick and weak, get them checked out.

“It's more likely that if your child comes down with some ill symptoms during flu season, well it's probably more likely to be flu or some other cause of illness or another virus or something,” said Michael Johnson, with The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.

Mackenzie's mom says after going through this experience, they'll never take another day with their kids for granted again.

“It definitely teaches you to appreciate your kids on a day to day basis more,” said Mandi Lacher. “Especially when you get in the grind of work and school and all of that and you don't really spend as much time with them as you`re able to.”

Now that Mackenzie is home, she's going back to try and go back to school. But, she still has more physical therapy to do to get her strength back

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