In the midst of a pandemic covid, Alex began to suffer unexplained pain. He four year old boy I had to take ibuprofen every day to get some relief. But the symptoms did not subside. On the contrary, they went further, until stopped growing. There began a journey of doctors, hospitals and tests which did not yield any results. In more than three years, Alex visited 17 specialists and no one knew how to diagnose him correctly what ailment afflicted him. Until his mother, Courtney, in a desperate attempt, came to ChatGPT. The chatbot app artificial intelligence (IA) told him what no doctor did: the boy suffers from a rare disease called tethered cord syndromefrom which he will recover after surgery and rehabilitation.
The 17 doctors who visited Alex not only failed to find out what was wrong with him, but wrong pathologies were diagnosed. That led to a great despair in the familywhich was even more so when I saw that the disease incapacitated the child to play with his friends now lead a normal life. “We saw so many experts… we even ended up in the emergency room once. But I kept insisting“Courtney explains to the American media.
That obstinacy mixed with a very high dose of frustration included opening an account on ChatGPT. Over there dumped the medical history from Alex. “Line by line. All the symptoms. Everything that had happened to her. All the information from the tests. Everything,” the woman declares in the NBC’s ‘Today’ television show.
“I put in the note about not being able to sit with your hands crossed. For me, that was a big trigger that something was wrong and that It was serious“, he specifies. Courtney remembers that He spent “all night” in front of the computer until the AI platform suggested the opinion of tethered cord syndrome. “It made a lot of sense,” she recalls.
Despite the creators of artificial intelligence warning that this technology puts human beings at “risk of extinction”, the chatbot developed by OpenAI in 2022 has unexpectedly saved Alex: his mother joined a Facebook group of families of children with this pathology. “His stories about him were like my son’s,” she says.
Rare neurological condition
So he arranged a visit with a neurosurgeon, who, after looking at the boy’s MRI images, knew exactly what was happening to him. “She told me bluntly: ‘Here is the spina bifidaand this is where the marrow is anchored,'” says Courtney.
On the other hand, the other 17 doctors ruled on cavities, covid, migraines, exhaustion, dizziness, sinus problems, airway obstructions, growth and sleep problems. The list of symptoms was very long. In fact, some experts even claimed that she suffered from brain anomalies and several congenital conditions.
“No one was willing to solve the biggest problem“, he adds to ‘Today’. “No one even gave us a clue as to what it could be,” he denounces. However, the final evaluation allowed the child to undergo surgery to release the tension in your spinal cord.
About tethered cord syndrome
He tethered cord syndrome is a rare neurological condition which occurs when the spinal cord tissue forms joints (malformations) that limit the movement of the nervous tissue, causing it to stretch abnormally, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The pathology is closely associated with the occult spina bifidaa birth defect in which part of the spinal cord does not fully develop and the nerves are exposed.
“In young children it can be difficult to diagnose because they cannot speak“, explains Alex’s doctor, Holly Gilmer, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Michigan Head & Spine Institute in Detroit, Michigan. In addition, the specialist explains that “in many children with this condition there is a visible opening in the back. But the type that Alex had was closed, even though it is considered a case of spina bifida occulta.”
“The defender of your children”
After years of fighting, Courtney expresses what she feels in style. “Emotions of reliefvalidation, and excitement for your future,” he comments. In addition, he makes a plea: “There is no one to connect the dots for you. You have to be your children’s advocate.“.
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