paralysed Community help a young woman suffering from extremely rare autoimmune disorder

A community came together to help a 22-year-old without medical aid, after she became completely paralysed from “flu-like symptoms” and now she has started recovering!


Back in July, we shared the terrifying story of Brackenhurst resident, Bianca Ackhurst (22) who was admitted to Netcare Clinton Hospital Intensive Care Unit in Alberton, Johannesburg after experiencing what she recalls as flu-like symptoms and “tingling” in her fingers and toes.

After a few short days, Bianca went from the bubbly and energetic personality her family and friends know and love, to being completely paralysed, relying on a ventilator to breathe.

After close examination by Dr Adri Kock, Bianca was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an extremely rare and serious autoimmune disorder which attacks healthy nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system. The incurable syndrome affects 1 in 100 000 individuals, while there is no known cure, doctors say the severity of the symptoms can be reduced through extensive physiotherapy and special treatment called Polygam and Plasma.

Since the diagnosis, friends and family launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for treatment. To date, they have raised over R100,000 towards her treatment.

Bianca has since left the ICU and was transferred to the South Rand Rehabilitation Centre in The Hill, Johannesburg to continue her fight against Guillain-Barré Disease.

“Bianca’s condition is improving daily and she is at the point where she can sit with little to no assistance and can stand unassisted for about 3 seconds at a time. She remains positive despite dealing with this soul-destroying illness ” – says Bianca’s father, Jeffrey Ackhurst

Bianca currently does about 3 hours of physical, speech and occupational therapy a day. While she is making progress, doctors suggest her recovery could take up to 6 months.

“When I took my first step with my walker, I reminded myself, that you have to keep fighting when you get knocked down. I am determined to get better and get my life back” – says Bianca Ackhurst

Bianca’s treatment has been made possible through generous contributions to her campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy. The campaign went live on the 6th of July, shortly after Bianca’s diagnosis and has thus far raised over R108 065.41 with contributions from 165 donors.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to Bianca’s BackaBuddy fund and for the kindness and compassion, we received as a family. Your thoughts and prayers have been a pillar of strength for us during a very difficult time” Says Jeffrey

She has made some great progress in the last few weeks and went from being bedridden to walking with assistance. You can see her progress in the video below.

Sources: Supplied
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *