Patient Stories

There is very little in life that prepares you for such a life changing experience. I spent the later half of my twenties trying to figure out what I would be doing for my thirtieth birthday, never thinking I would be spending it in the ICU.

On August 24th I was admitted to the hospital for what the doctors thought was viral meningitis and told I would only be there through the weekend. After hallucinating, having my lungs collapse several times, being intubated, becoming paralyzed from the neck down and almost passing away more than once I was finally diagnosed with encephalitis from an unknown origin. Twenty seven different tests were done and all came back negative. I was tested for rabies, tuberculosis, polio and every known virus out there. Most of my time in the hospital was spent in isolation. Still to this day I am a mystery and will probably never know what almost killed me. I then developed a neurological disorder and was diagnosed with transverse myelitis which caused the paralysis. I spent nine weeks total in the hospital, only remembering the last half of my stay. My last three weeks were spent in inpatient rehab and I was discharged on October 26th with full function of my arms and hands but am still paralyzed from my abdomen down.

Before this nightmare happened I was a very healthy guy, this actually being my first time being admitted to the hospital. I was a fairly active person. Aside from working as a automotive technician five to six days per week, I regularly went for hikes and photo taking adventures with my girlfriend, Trista. I love to play sports and have played 15 years collectively of football, baseball, basketball, and soccer. Being born and raised in Santa Cruz I have grown to love the beach and can’t see myself moving very far away from it. I love to dance, run, drive, and swim, all things I can no longer enjoy.

Since starting with Dr. Zhu and his team I have felt the most confidence in regaining full mobility that I have felt since waking up in ICU fully paralyzed. I have made improvements every session and I am excited to return every time. I have only been going a little under a month and have already had some movement in my legs and also more and more sensation each day. After I leave my sessions my legs feel tight and tired, a feeling I am excited to have, a feeling I have missed. I feel that this is by far the most aggressive and appropriate rehabilitation I could provide myself with. I am still receiving outpatient physical and occupational therapy through the hospital but it is only once per week for barely an hour and I feel there is no progression. They work with me teaching me skills to “live” in a wheelchair and that is not a life I plan on living! I am willing to do whatever it takes to regain full movement and walk again and for me that is going to Dr Zhu five times per week! Dr Zhu estimates I may need one year of treatment. Although it is out of my financial means, I, along with my family and friends are doing all that we can to fundraise and continue my treatment. My insurance does not cover any of the expenses and with no income coming in, it is a challenge. Any amount you are able to donate would be more than appreciated!

I am very grateful that I am able to go to Dr Zhu and his team and thankful to my mother, Jane, who  encouraged me to go. After reading through his website and seeing the “miracles” he has performed and then seeing my own progression I am confident I will be walking again in no time and doing the things I love to do once again! Thank You Dr Zhu for giving me the encouragement I need to get through this unbelievable time in my life!

 

 

 

 

A Mother's Appeal

Masai Kenyatta, seeing you trying so hard in your appointments with Dr. Zhu, and Dr. Siu and staff, makes me feel so proud. I am so impressed with your warrior spirit. I am so grateful for this incredible healing experience. I am giddy with hope and faith. I love you.
 
What started out as flu-like symptoms, progressed to Viral Encephalitis and a secondary auto immune infection. My son, Masai, thirty years old, never got ill very often. He is an active bright spirit. If he did get sick, it would last maybe a day or two at the most.  He was diagnosed with transverse myelitis. He is paralyzed from the waist down, and was told by the medical Drs. that he may never walk again. Or it may take up to two years to recover. 
 
His physical therapy treatments in the hospital, focused on accepting life in a wheel chair and being a paraplegic. While I understood their attitudes about healing and recovery. Their ideas and prognosis were totally unacceptable to me.
 
You see, I know my son Masai. Even on the darkest days of almost losing him in the hospital. I knew he would survive and thrive and recover from this unknown virus that had affected every system in his body.
 
 I could hardly contain my excitement when I was referred to Dr. Zhu's acupuncture clinic.  Dr. Zhu and Dr. Siu are amazing healers. Their professionalism and knowledge and wisdom in the field of acupuncture and healing is a blessing to our community and world.
 
Masai has received 10 visits to date of this writing. He has stood up on his own for a minute. He has been up on his hands and knees learning to crawl.  He pedaled the bike machine for 4 minutes. Everyday he makes baby steps towards walking again. He receives the most intense rehab therapy in addition to the scalp acupuncture and more. The therapists Ron and Tomi are exceptional in their approach with Masai. They encourage and push him with kindness and humor and an attitude of he will be walking soon. Masai talks about their caring nature all the time when he is at home. 
 
He is already feeling deep feelings in his legs. He says his legs burn when he is done…this is a good thing…he is actively telling his body to move. He is practicing a mindfulness as never before in his healing process. His attitude is positive and hopeful and he is determined to walk again. 
 
Words cannot express the deeply felt gratitude and appreciation that I have towards Dr. Zhu, Dr. Siu and their staff. 
 
When I see my son's treatments in action and the progress he is making, I feel like I am going to jump for joy every second that I am there watching him move. 
 
His progress makes me cry tears of joy and gratitude. Masai is my only son. He has three sisters and they are all cheerleading him on with prayers, donations and lots of love. I am looking forward to seeing my son walk through my front door again. Bless you Dr. Zhu and Dr. Siu, I am forever grateful for your helping my son to walk again. 
 
Please support Dr. Zhu's Scalp Acupuncture  program. This is an amazing program.
 
With Deepest Gratitude and Love,
Jane Reyes, Masai's mom
December 12, 2012