Northwest Elementary 4th grade teacher Cyndy Torres and her husband Richard, who works for Victory Electric, recently welcomed their son Zaiden to the world April 8.
But the joys of parenthood were soon overshadowed by more pressing medical needs, as Cyndy began having debilitating headaches soon after his birth. The headaches quickly progressed to numbness in her hands and feet. Then, Cyndy started to have trouble walking, and fell if she tried to walk without assistance.
The new mother went through a series of tests here in Dodge City, and in Wichita, but no diagnosis was made.
On Sunday, April 21, Torres was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Western Plains Medical Complex and prepared to be flown to Wichita for medical treatment. Due to weather, she was unable to fly out until the following afternoon. By that time, she had lost all feeling from her waist down.
Torres is currently in the ICU in Wesley Medical Center in Wichita where she is being treated for Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
According to MayoClinic.com, Guillain-Barre is a disorder in which a person's immune system attacks their nerves. Weakness and tingling in the extremities are usually the first symptoms. The exact cause of the disorder is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness or pregnancy. There is no known cure, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce duration of the illness. Most people recover, though some may experience lingering effects such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.
Torres her condition has continued to decline. Since being admitted to the Wichita hospital, she has lost all feeling in her extremities.
"I don't think there is a moment I have seen Cyndy without a smile on her face, her laugh is infectious," Sarah Heeke, a friend of the family said. "This experience has been devastating for her and her family. She should be holding her newborn, but right now she can't even move her arms."
Torres' medical team is considering putting her on a breathing machine as a precautionary measure, as this disease can shut down the body's ability to breathe on its own.
However, Torres' family, friends and doctors remain optimistic that she will be able to make a full recovery.
"Cyndy has a very strong spirit, strong faith and will pull through this," Joni Heath, a family friend said. "We just need to pray for a fast recovery so she can be with her baby."
To help with the financial burden of missed work, travel and medical expenses the Torres' family is facing, friends and family are holding a community garage sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, April 27, at 2005 Cactus Road, Dodge City. Items may be donated to the sale through this evening, and monetary donations are also accepted. Checks may be mailed to Torres Family, c/o Landmark Bank, 100 W. Spruce St., Dodge City, Kansas 67801.
Page 2 of 2 - Items for sale include a recliner, dryer, snowblower and a shop vac. There is also a lot of clothing for all ages.
"Her family is overwhelmed by the support they are receiving," Crystal Flores, a family friend said. "Both Renee, her mother, Randy, her father, and Richard have been moved beyond belief by the support of friends and family."