Ellie Stump - Pennsylvania Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Nomination and Photography by Tricia Stump Featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The nomination: Ellie stump never gave up. She had become very ill and was hospitalized and had to learn how to walk and talk again. She is now very active in cheer at Dallastown High school.
What was your illness that put you in the hospital? Guillain-Barre Syndrome a rare disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the nervous system.
Tell us about the events you went through leading up to your hospitalization. I had a severe stomach bug. A week later I started having severe headaches. My parents took me to the ER where I had a cat scan. They sent me home, and a few days later I ended up at the Pediatrician because I still had bad headaches, my speech started to slur, my feet felt heavy and my muscles were very sore. That doctor sent me to a neurologist, and she thought I had GBS. She sent me to Hershey Hospital. While there I went through many tests, which included a spinal tap and an MRI. I couldn't swallow, so I was given a feeding tube.
What were your biggest obstacles during these hard times and how did you stay so determined? While paralyzed, and not able to walk, talk or eat, I spent seven days in Hershey PICU and was then transferred to Hershey Pediatric Rehab. I went through many hours of therapy, learning to walk, talk and eat. It was scary and frustrating. What kept me motivated was to be able to eat real food again, go back to school to see my friends, go home to see my dog, and play volleyball again.
If there was one thing you would want people to know about you, what would it be? Before my illness I was shy and didn't really try new things. When I finally came home and was released from therapy, I decided to try out for our school cheer leading team. I wasn't sure I'd make it, but I did. I also went back to my club volleyball team and became part of student council.
What advice would you give to someone who may be where you were? I'd say stay positive, have faith, and never give up. Believe that you are strong enough and stay focused on your future goals. Rely on your support system. For me that was my parents and my older sister Lydia. She was in middle school when this happened, but she came to see me almost every night after school. She was so encouraging and thoughtful. Every girl should have a big sister like her.
Ellie was featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!