By Allie Caren
Holly Gerlach had her first child, Casey, at the age of 26. But unfortunately, the joys of motherhood in the normal sense were put on hold.
Less than three weeks after giving birth to Casey, Gerlach was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome. What started as pain in her neck and weakness in her legs resulted in total paralysis just 72 hours later.
Gerlach spent two-and-a-half months in the ICU. She was eventually released and started physiotherapy, where she learned how to use her muscles and fine motor skills again.
Four months later, when Casey was five months old, Gerlach was finally able to return home. Now, a year later, the young mom is at her strongest yet. She also wrote an inspirational book about her experience.