Facebook Twitter

New York Times Magazine tries to solve Utah girl’s mysterious medical illness

SHARE New York Times Magazine tries to solve Utah girl’s mysterious medical illness
A mysterious and unsolved medical mystery from Salt Lake City is the latest focus of a New York Times magazine piece.

A mysterious and unsolved medical mystery from Salt Lake City is the latest focus of a New York Times magazine piece.

Screenshot, NYT Magazine

SALT LAKE CITY — A mysterious and unsolved medical mystery from Utah is the latest focus of a New York Times magazine piece.

On Wednesday, The New York Times magazine published an article by Dr. Lisa Sanders — who has recently begun reporting on medical mysteries and asking readers for their thoughts and diagnoses — about Lashay, a Utah girl with a medical mystery that remains unsolved after more than three years.

The issues began three years ago when Lashay and her family traveled to Costa Rica for a vacation. She and her family went hiking and Lashay was attacked by a raccoon during the day. The girl wasn't bleeding, though the skin was broken, but the raccoon never bit her.

But Lashay and her family noticed “gastrointestinal” problems when they arrived home. That began a whirlwind of misdiagnosis, questions and fears among the family.

It led to Lashay spending a week at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City as doctors tried to diagnose her.

“Her pediatrician had admitted her there because for the past 2 months the girl had been unable to keep anything she ate or drank in her system,” according to NYT magazine. “Just about any food or drink, no matter what it was, seemed to come right back minutes or sometimes hours after being consumed. She’d lost nearly 10 pounds. It was strange and terrifying. She had no nausea, no abdominal pain, no diarrhea. She did have a mild headache, and her eyes felt a little sensitive to light. Her mother was worried that her child wasn’t getting enough into her system to keep her alive.”

She’s now 17. She eats small meals but still struggles to eat them completely. She tries to exercise. But she still suffers from the medical mystery.

Dr. Sanders is asking readers to help diagnose the problem if they know anything.

Read more at New York Times magazine.