Parents of Mysteriously Ill Teens Deserve the Truth


test tubesHow terrified would you be if your ordinarily active, healthy teen daughter woke up from a nap one day with symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome? How much more terrified would you be if the same thing happened to 11 other girls from your daughter's high school ... and no one could explain why? As a parent I'd be scared, no doubt about it, but more than anything else, I'd be desperate for answers and furious that I wasn't getting any.

That's what moms Melissa Phillip and Elizabeth Miller want: Answers. And I don't blame them. Phillip's daughter Thera Sanchez and Miller's daughter Katie Krautwurst are 2 of the 13 students at LeRoy Junior-Senior High School in upstate New York to develop a mysterious movement disorder, seemingly overnight. Their daily lives are now plagued with a host of tics and stuttering and outbursts that have forced them to give up all the things they used to love doing, from art to cheerleading to simply attending school.

Coincidence? I think not. Yet officials insist they've found no connection between the cases.

Okay, moms, question: How many of you would settle for that explanation?

Exactly. None of you would, because what the school and the NY Department of Health told Phillip, Sanchez, and the other parents can't even be considered an explanation. Authorities say each girl has undergone the same type of testing; parents say that's simply not true -- treatment has been individualized. Parents have also been assured of extensive environmental testing. Says Dr. Gregory Young of the NY DoH:

“We have conclusively ruled out any form of infection or communicable disease and there’s no evidence of any environmental factor."

But parents say they've received no test results, no data, no proof of any kind that the above is true. And I don't see how it possibly could be true. Sure, the illness might be "stress-induced," as the girls' individual physicians have suggested. But even if that is the case, as a parent, I would still want answers: How much academic or social pressure was my kid under in the first place for her body to react in such an extreme manner?

So far, these parents' questions continue to go unanswered. And so, their children continue to suffer.

Do you think these parents will ever find out the truth about their teens' illness?

Image via Lori Grieg/Flickr

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bills... billsfan1104

This is the town next to me. They are looking into the Gardisal vaccine.

Stacey. Stacey.

Reminds me of the NFL cheerleader Desiree Jennings who clamied to have gotten Dystonia from the flu vaccine and could only walk or run normally when going backwards. Later she said the illness somehow rescinded and she got better. Look her up on google or YouTube. It's still being debated whether or not this was a hoax, but from the YouTube video it looked pretty damn real.

mikki318 mikki318

interesting....they need 1 doctor to work with all the students to find the connection.

mikki318 mikki318

i think Stacey is on to something, it could be a hoax. maybe the connection is that they are all bored friends.

CPN322 CPN322

You can't fake tourettes and the body ticks become very painful......

fraoch fraoch

My daughter is 15, in July she started getting massive, massive headaches. She had a concussion in January so we figured it was a combination of that & band practice. Shortly after the headaches started, after going to bed one night, she woke up shaking on the right side of her body, within a week, the entire right side of her body was jerking and twitching. It was very, very painful. She had no warning when it would happen and could not suppress it in any way. I took her off the meds they gave her for her headaches b/c side effects were unintentional twitching, went to a neurologist, a heart doctor, a shrink, family doctor....everyone but the shrink said it was stress.  The shrink said she was fine and displays no emotional triggers that says 'stress tics' to him. He went on to say that while tics were something that can happen, whole body one were not something he's ever seen.


fraoch fraoch

Hot baths, massage and pain meds were perscribed. Eventually the twitching stopped, but now she has a vocal twitch, That went one every other minute for about 2 months. She's make a noise like if you breath through your nose and close of off your throat....they said that was stress.

It was so bad, she was sick w/the flu one day and was vomiting and making that noise, I thought she'd choke. It's terrifying.

Stress...bullshit its stress. She was stressed about nothing until this all started. I keep trying to contact these people that are in the news to no avail. But I want them to know, they aren't the only ones.

bills... billsfan1104

Mikki, they investigated all that. Its not fake. Its real. My daughter has tourettes, and you cannot make it up, because you are bored.

fraoch fraoch

My daughter's issues are set aside as stress or, per kids in school, a hoax. It pisses me off to hell and back b/c they don't know her, I do.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Gardasil was my first thought. If not that then likely some environmental factor, maybe something in the girls locker room. It could be some stupid new drug craze but I would hope that one of them would have come forward by this point if that were the case.

They're so close to NJ too, shame they can't just hope on a bus and consult House. He'd have them on the mend within the hour...

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