By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
A summer day turned into the beginning of a mystery that one Stillwater mother and countless doctors have been trying to solve.
Jennifer Brown, daughter, Jenna, and other family members were spending a normal day outside enjoying the warm weather.
“In June of last year, we were at the park,” Brown said. “We were playing. Everything was fine.”
An ice cream truck was nearby. The family decided to grab a sweet treat.
“I walked away to go throw something in the trash and my mom kind of panicked,” Brown said. “Jenna was holding her ice cream cone, but couldn’t get it in her mouth. She was shaking uncontrollably.”
They left for the emergency room right away.
“We were there about four hours,” Brown said. “They did blood work, they contacted a specialist in Oklahoma City, they ordered an MRI.”
The next day, they visited their family physician who sent them to a neurologist in Tulsa.
“I really didn’t know how to explain it,” Brown said. “We didn’t know what was going on. We were in full panic mode.”
More tests, including copper poisoning and coordination tests, followed. Now, more than a year later, the family remains where they started — without answers.
“They said her brain is perfectly healthy,” Brown said. “Her blood work is coming back fine. She’s had a spinal tap. That came back perfectly fine.”
Brown’s daughter said the day at the park was confusing. She was unble to explain what was happening to her.
Brown said the first genetic specialist her daughter was taken to said everything that could be done had been done. He suggested a full genetic work up. The price of the procedure is $7,000.
“The lab is out of Waco and the insurance doesn’t cover it,” Brown said.
The family, friends and supporters have held physical and online fundraisers.
“We have about $2,000 saved right now and we’ve been doing it four or five months,” she said.
There is much more needed to meet the goal.
“Everybody has been really supportive,” Brown said. “They’ve helped. They go the doctor’s appointments when they can. My parents, her grandma; 656 people liking (her page) on Facebook is amazing to me. We’ve had four anonymous donations that I can’t fathom. It amazes me how people can be. I know if it was somebody else’s little girl, I would do the same thing, but it’s just hard to imagine it being my little girl.”
To Brown, her focus remains on raising the money.
“I haven’t thought past that yet,” she said. “My biggest thing is I’m not giving up raising this money for her. I’m not going to and I’ll do anything. I just want to do everything I can to get an answer and if the test comes back and it doesn’t show anything, we go on to the next test. That’s all I can do. She hasn’t given up yet. She’s the toughest little girl you’ll ever meet to have gone through all this and still be sitting here, smiling and talk about it.”
For more information, visit Jenna Brown’s fundraising page at http://tinyurl.com/helpjennabrown.