Virginian paralyzed in Thailand from rare disease returns home

Caroline Bradner was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease while teaching in Thailand...
Caroline Bradner was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease while teaching in Thailand (Source: Family photo)
Updated: Jan. 12, 2019 at 10:21 PM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico woman who was paralyzed after her diagnosis of a rare auto-immune disease while teaching in Thailand is back home.

Caroline Bradner, 22, had been hospitalized in Southeast Asia.

A travel insurance company has agreed earlier this month to help Bradner get home.

Caroline had originally traveled to Thailand for a marketing internship but soon fell in love with teaching English to young children.

"She thought that would help broaden herself and also give back to other people," said Jim Bradner, Caroline’s father.

But two months in to her six month stay the unexpected happened.

On Dec. 22, Caroline woke up in her apartment in Thailand unable to move, according to her sister.

"It's a punch in the gut," Bradner said.

A friend, also from the Richmond area, took Caroline to the hospital after she started exhibiting symptoms of weakness, abdominal pain and paralysis.

Doctors in Thailand diagnosed her with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a rare auto-immune disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack your nerves.

The family found out about Caroline’s situation when they were picking her sister up at the airport.

Caroline’s mother flew out Christmas Eve to help with her daughter’s recovery while the rest of the family focused on finding a way to get her home.

On Saturday night, her father posted photos to Facebook as Caroline arrived home.

Caroline has made it back to Richmond!! She would not be back here today without your support and prayers!!! Here are some pictures of her 36 hour journey

Posted by Jim Bradner on Saturday, January 12, 2019

Friends, family and strangers donated to a GoFundMe page, originally created to help pay for transportation.

“Any additional funds will be donated to GBS/CIDP Foundation International,” the fundraising page said.

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