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Teens (ages 12-17)

On August 28th, 2008, my life and my art changed forever.

My little sister was a perfectly healthy 10 year old girl. While my Mom was blow-drying Aurora’s hair she noticed blisters on her face, hairline and left ear. My Mom and Dad took her to the hospital thinking that she was having an allergic reaction to something and they thought they were just going to give her some antibiotics and send her home. Within 3 hours the blisters got huge and covered the entire left side of her head. She looked and felt like she had been set on fire. She was rushed by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Within 24 hours, she was in ICU and Rapid Response was called. She was diagnosed with a rare disease called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which is a viral infection in her cranial nerves that led to Encephalitis and terrible, debilitating, painful nerve damage all over her body called CRPS/RSD. The pain from CRPS is listed on the McGill Pain Scale as higher pain than an amputation without anesthesia or Cancer. Over the next year, Aurora was hospitalized 14 times. While she was in the hospital, I did an art series on angels so that when she was in her hospital room there were drawings of strong, empowering, protective angels surrounding her while she fought her illness. I have sent you two of these angels and another one who is feeling our suffering. I pray every day for a cure for Aurora’s illness.

By Kassidee Williamsen

Age: 14
Disease: Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and CRPS/RSD
Submissions: 3
Date: May 6, 2010
City: San Dimas
State: California