When Lucia Burillo Rojas arrived in Boston last fall, the 11-year-old from Mexico City could hardly stand up from her wheelchair. “It was very hard,” says her mother Sandra, who had traveled with her daughter, hoping that doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital could help relieve Lucia’s constant pain.
Sandra was desperate. Lucia had been a very active child who played soccer and tennis, and loved to dance, ski and ice skate. Then she was hit with a common hand, foot and mouth virus in September. The virus resolved, but not without devastating complications. “She started with bad migraines, sensitivity to light, dizziness, vertigo and extreme neck and back pain that made it really hard for her to walk or move. Even touching her skin hurt,” recalls Sandra. Lucia wasn’t able to go to school, much less enjoy her regular active lifestyle.
The family took her to neurologists and infectious disease specialists in Mexico City. They tried painkillers and physical therapy, but nothing helped.
Sandra reached out to friends and family and a common theme emerged. …