A storm system that spread snow, sleet and freezing rain widely across the nation's midsection is headed toward the densely populated Eastern seaboard promising more of the same.More >>
A powerful storm that crept across the country dumped a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet on the Mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast Sunday, turning NFL playing fields in Pennsylvania into winter wonderlands,...More >>
South Africans flocked to houses of worship for a national day of prayer and reflection to honor former President Nelson Mandela, starting planned events to commemorate the liberation struggle icon that will...More >>
In death, Nelson Mandela unified South Africans of all races and backgrounds Sunday on a day of prayer for the global statesman - from a vaulted cathedral with hymns and incense to a rural, hilltop church with goat-skin...More >>
The government is back at work, and markets are laden with fruits, pork, fish and bread. Shredded trees are sprouting new leaves. Above all, the sounds of a city getting back on its feet fill the air: the roar of...More >>
The government is back at work, and markets are laden with fruits, pork, fish and bread. Shredded trees are sprouting new leaves. Above all, the sounds of a city getting back on its feet fill the air: the roar of trucks...More >>
The Southeastern Conference has stated its case. Now all Auburn can do is watch, wait and hope for No. 1 Florida State or No. 2 Ohio State to stumble.More >>
The last steps to the BCS championship game summed up their seasons.More >>
(WMC-TV) – What if an unknown illness cost you everything? That is what happened to a Mid-South woman whose medical crisis has baffled doctors for almost three years now.
It is a medical mystery you may find hard to watch, but what this woman lost to disease she has gained in strength and spirit.
Shanyna Isom was a high school graduate working toward a law degree.
"I was in my junior year and I was studying criminal justice," she said.
Today, loved ones have to help her get out of bed or off of the sofa.
"It's almost as if it's a nightmare and you're trying to wake up out of that," she says.
A nightmare that began in September 2009 when Isom had an allergic reaction to steroids she was given for an asthma attack. Within months, she was eaten alive by a debilitating skin disease doctors have yet to diagnose.
"Over time it started to turn my legs black with bumps," Isom said.
Doctors in Memphis treated Isom for everything from eczema to a staph infection.
"And we know it couldn't be that after all the medication she had been on," Shanyna's Aunt, Jataun Isom said.
"They've tested me from A to Z and everything was coming back negative," Shanyna said.
In August 2011 Isom was accepted into Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Doctors determined she produces 12 times the number of skin cells per hair follicle, which suffocates her skin.
Instead of hair, her skin follicles produce human nails.
"Where hair grows, nails are growing," she said.
Doctors have been able to control her symptoms.
"I couldn't sit up I couldn't walk," said Isom. "Now I can walk with a cane and sometimes I can walk on my own."
But Isom's mysterious health crisis has caused a financial crisis.
Her state-issued insurance does not cover her out-of-state care and only covers five of the 17 medications she is prescribed.
"So we had to depend on the family and friends and different fundraisers and things like that to help me get back and forth," she said.
Those savings accounts have dried up.
Isom has a quarter of a million dollars in outstanding medical bills. She is afraid she won't be able to continue the treatment that could save her life.
"As of right now, I am the only one in the world with my illness," Isom said.
While Johns Hopkins researchers work to cure her, loved ones rally around her.
"We know that God is a healer and he's going to bring her through," Carrie Isom, Shanyna's Grandmother said.
"At this point I just do everything I can to get the help that's needed for her," said Shanyna's friend Tolungia Webb.
"I love her and I know that she's gonna get better," friend Karintha Rawls said.
Isom has established the S.A.I. Foundation to raise money for her treatments and to one day help others suffering from an unknown illness.
"If it means me dealing with this to help someone else, I'm willing to go through it," Isom said.
The S.A.I Foundation is accepting donations at any Bank of America branch.
On August 24, friends will hold another fundraiser in Memphis.
In September, Westwood High School, where Shanyna attended is dedicating their football game to her cause.