Shelby was induced into a coma at the beginning of December. During this time, the doctors and nurses in the Neurology department of Austin Hospital worked hard to find out was wrong with her.
“What I was diagnosed with was NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. My body was affected by a teratoma cyst on one of my ovaries. This flipped out my cells and they started attacking the brain tissue on the cyst, then quickly moved onto attacking my brain,” Shelby said.
Shelby was in hospital and from November 2017 until January 2018, and then moved onto rehabilitation from January through to February 2018. Her rehabilitation included relearning how to walk, shower, and take care of herself, working on her speech and challenging her memory to help build it back up. ”I spent a few weeks in a wheelchair while I was still too fragile and weak to walk, until I moved on to a four-wheel walker for a further three months,” Shelby said.
“It’s been a really long two years since I was first admitted to hospital, and I’m still not properly cleared to do a lot of stuff that most people can, but I’m really pushing through everything to try to become the best version of myself that I can be. I’m not yet doing everything most people my age are but I’m back at uni and it feels great knowing how far I’ve come through it all,” Shelby said.