Sheila Paré copes with the difficulties of moving her legs daily

Eleven years ago, Sheila Paré went into a coma.

She was in the coma for about six weeks. Upon waking up, she said she couldn’t move at all.

Doctors pinpointed the cause to a virus, but she said they were unsure what type of virus it was. They told her it could have been caused by one of three things: a bee sting, Lyme disease or a flu shot.

 Paré said she had a flu shot and hadn’t been feeling well. The virus caused acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which she describes as a sudden onset of multiple sclerosis.

Produced by Jenica Foster

She stayed in the hospital for a total of four and a half months. After initially not being able to move, she learned to walk with the help of a walker and then graduated to a cane.

“I guess in some ways I kind of felt lucky because at first I couldn’t move anything. I was so grateful that I should be walking, it could have been a lot worse. I mean I could have died,” she said.

One year after she got out of the hospital, she was able to drive again, she said. But in 2008, Paré found her muscles weakening. She said at one point she had no control over her right leg.

Then in 2010, to combat her loss of movement, she said she decided to install hand controls in her vehicle and with the help of a few driving lessons from Safety in Motion Inc. she was re-licensed in Sept. 2011.

Paré still has difficulty walking on her own, using a motorized wheelchair to move around her house.

jfoster@cjournal.ca