Lifestyle

Miracle mum off home

Amanda LePeilbet and her husband Ered Fox and baby Cloe could be home by Mother’s Day.
Amanda LePeilbet and her husband Ered Fox and baby Cloe could be home by Mother’s Day. Contributed

AMANDA LePeilbet is a medical curiosity and a one-in-one-billion survivor.

The Gympie mum was 38-and-a-half weeks pregnant last December when she was struck down by a rare strain of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which affects one in 100,000 people, where the body's immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.

The fit and healthy manager of Gympie Cooloola Tourism was on her way home from lunch with girlfriends in Maleny on December 1 when she noticed her left arm felt "funny, pins and needles, achy".

The next morning she had trouble walking, and rang the Gympie maternity unit, where she was booked to have her baby.

She was admitted and a doctor suggested it could be Guillain-Barre.

"It was quite a shock," said Amanda.

As her condition deteriorated, Amanda was transferred to Nambour hospital.

There, doctors desperately tried to determine what to do for an expectant mother with Guillain-Barre.

There had been one other recorded case in Australia.

Within two days Amanda was almost completely paralysed.

"By December 3, I was a quadriplegic," she said this week.

On top of this, doctors discovered she had a rare variant of the disease that attacks the axons inside the nerves rather than the myelin sheath covering them.

This meant her recovery could take up to four times longer and that, combined with her impending labour, also meant she was a one-in-one-billion case.

Putting her unborn baby first, Amanda refused a caesarean section and her labour was induced on December 4.

Unable to move but in agony from the contractions and the Guillain-Barre, Amanda had three epidurals before giving birth naturally 13 hours later to a healthy baby girl Cloe.

Her determination and recovery have astounded health workers.

After Cloe's arrival, Amanda's breathing and swallowing deteriorated.

Doctors wanted to put her in a coma and ventilate her, a fate of 30% of sufferers, but because Amanda was breast feeding they held off.

As if that wasn't enough, 12 days after the birth Amanda developed high blood pressure, had a seizure, stopped breathing, was resuscitated, went temporarily blind and

developed facial palsy. She was then fed through a naso-gastric tube for a while.

Nobody knows how long it will be before she fully recovers or if she will fully recover.

It could take years.

She only weighs 48kg and has severe weakness and muscle wastage.

But the signs are good and her progress has so amazed her carers that they are studying Amanda and the possibility that the hormones triggered by breastfeeding have somehow accelerated her recovery.

Amanda wants to come home and doctors have agreed to release her in time for Mother's Day.

To help make it possible friends and family will care for her 24-7.

Fundraising events will be held in the Gympie region in the next month to raise money to modify her home so she can return.

Topics:  doctor, health, hospital, medical, miracle, mum



‘Tireless’ principals paid tribute over new Ballina school

School principals thanked for their role in merger

Tweed council date confirmed

Tweed residents will elect a new council on October 29 after candidate death forced reschedule.

Tweed to head to polls on October 29 after candidate death delay

Tweed deluge breaks rainfall records

Harrison Powick and Amy van den Akker have some fun at Murwillumbah after heavy rain.

August average rainfalls demolished.

Latest deals and offers

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

Sir Cliff Richard feels 'best' after sex abuse allegations

Sir Cliff Richard is 'back' to his best after sex abuse claims

Blac Chyna sued after car injured 2 women

Blac Chyna is being sued after her friend crashed into another car

Chris Hemsworth surprises kids at hospital as Thor

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston surprised children at hospital

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep