GREENSBORO, N.C. — “We have zinnias and different types of daisies,” says Caitlin Little, as she gives me a tour of the garden behind her house.
This is the garden she has been tending each day this spring. It’s been 32 months since the accident at cross country practice left her with anterograde amnesia and her memory, for the most part, lasts about a minute and a half.
“How are you feeling, these days?” I ask her.
“These days?” Caitlin responds. “I enjoy being outside. Being outside helps me feel a lot better.”
“And the shots you get?” I ask. Caitlin is obviously taken aback — I should have realized she has no memory of any of the medicinal shots she’s had each of the last 30 days.
“The shots?” she asks.
After more than two years of finding little help within the traditional world of medicine, Caitlin’s parents are finally making some progress in her healing — no, her memory hasn’t improved yet, but there are other parts of her body that they need to heal first.
She needs strong antibiotics to fight the Lyme disease she’s been diagnosed with.
“A powerful antibiotic called Rocephin that is used for Lyme disease a lot in Germany,” says Caitlin Little’s mother, Jennifer. “It’s specifically meant for Lyme.”
But the desired way to administer it wasn’t going to work.
“The ideal treatment would be putting a PICC line port inserted above the heart and do a PICC line IV every day,” says Jennifer. “Her heart is still a little too weak for that and we had a discussion about how would she react with this device in her chest with her memory resetting every minute. How would she react in her sleep? Is she going to do some kind of panic motion and rip it out?”
So, she’s been getting those daily shots.
“Caitlin developed some improvement from that and felt a lot better,” says her father, Chris Little. “She started gaining some weight — about 20 pounds — but we recognized that wasn’t everything that needed to be done.”
She needed an “all in” therapy of those antibiotics along with specific nutrition and some traditional Chinese medicine. Because, despite the improvements they’ve seen in her:
“She doesn’t know what day it is, she doesn’t know what year it is,” says Chris. “If someone hands her a quarter with 2020 on it, it’s shocking. She thinks it’s a fake.”
But they finally feel they’re getting a handle on things.
“She definitely understands her illness and has an awareness of it,” says Jennifer. “She doesn’t know to call it Lyme disease. She says, ‘There’s an infection attacking me.’ And she’ll tell me on certain days, ‘The antibiotic is chasing it — it has it on the move today.'”
See Caitlin rediscover something that’s been in her home for more than a year and hear her family discuss their situation in this edition of Caitlin Can’t Remember in the Buckley Report.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Little family.
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