Jean Sharon Abbott, a Minnesota native, spent the last thirty years of her life believing that she had cerebral palsy.
The problem with this is, she didn't actually have cerebral palsy.
Abbott later learned that she was misdiagnosed and that her symptoms can be cured with a very simple treatment.
Abbott, 38, was diagnosed with spastic diplegia when she was only 4. The Daily Mail reported that this form of cerebral palsy results in muscle spasms, weakness and near immobility. Abbott was also forced to undergo multiple surgeries before doctors corrected the diagnosis.
Instead of cerebral palsy, Abbott was diagnosed at age 33 with dopa-responsive dystonia. The rare muscle disorder is treatable, but left Abbott bed ridden for most of her childhood. While Abbott has struggled for nearly her whole life with the misdiagnosed disease, she is not bitter about her struggle.
She told The Daily Mail, “Honestly, I’ve never had any negative thoughts about what I went through.”
“Even though I had challenges, my parents were so good with dealing with my disability and didn’t “baby” me,” she continued. “Also, I had true friendships that I never had to question. All of my life experiences made me who I am today - and I like me.”
According to Inquisitr, Abbott was originally diagnosed by one of the best neurologists in the world so her family never sought a second opinion on her case. However, MRI scans did not result in the usual symptoms for someone with cerebral palsy.
She explained, “I had been seen by one of the best in the country, if not the world, and my parents even took me to the leading hospital in the US for a second opinion. They confirmed the spastic diplegia diagnosis and said that my doctor taught all of them.”
Abbott had multiple painful surgeries throughout her life to repair muscle loss or imbalances.
At age 33 Abbott visited a different neurologist who told her that she had DRD instead of cerebral palsy. According to the doctor, her symptoms would be cured by taking a daily dose of L-Dopa. Abbott was understandably confused and only agreed to start taking the pills after her husband convinced her to do so.
“When I began taking it, I was the biggest skeptic,” Abbott said. “I was expecting no results whatsoever and couldn’t imagine a life any other way.”
She started taking the medication on Good Friday in 2010 and was able to stand without help only two days later.
Abbott’s condition improved rapidly and she was able to go on a ten-mile hike with her husband during their 10th anniversary trip to Lake Superior.
Abbott said that her world has opened up since she was cured. “I was so proud of myself and thought that there are so many people in the world that physically can do stuff like this but choose not to,” she explained. “And I began to think of all the places I would love to travel with my family that wouldn’t have been an option before."
Abbott has become an ambassador for DRD and even stopped taking the medication for a while in order to film herself walking. She posted the video to Youtube so that others may be able to see the symptoms and would be treated properly right away.