National AFM Awareness Day: Opal’s Journey

Opal's birthday

Opal Rose Trimble was just 4 months old when she was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in 2019. At that time, she was the youngest in the world to be diagnosed with this disabling virus. Less than two out of a million children in the U.S. will get AFM every year, according to the CDC.  AFM affects gray matter in the spinal cord and weakens the muscles and reflexes in the body.

AFM left Opal paralyzed from the neck down and she spent nearly seven weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit before transferring to Bethany Children’s Health Center for rehabilitation therapies. During her time at Bethany Children’s, Opal regained movement in her upper body and was weaned off the ventilator before going home with her family.

Opal’s parents, Gretchen and Josh, share that Opal is now almost five and starting Pre-K classes. She has continued outpatient therapies at Bethany Children’s since her initial hospitalization, and is continuing to regain movement in her lower body.

“Our outpatient team at Bethany Children’s has been so instrumental in Opal’s rehabilitation and healing journey,” Gretchen says. “From our doctors here to our therapists who always put so much care and attention into her care, researching and going above and beyond to make sure each session is as effective as it can be.”

“We’ve learned that when you’re surrounded by the right people, it makes all the difference,” Gretchen shares. “Our lives have most certainly been impacted by seeing how God has used his people here at Bethany Children’s to help bring healing in our Opal Rose.”

Learn more about Opal’s journey:

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