Often, young people have a hard time convincing medical professionals that something is wrong. Time and again, horrific stories come out where a diagnosis is delayed by months because young women were not taken seriously with their concerns.
Keep reading to learn more about what happened in this horrible instance…
23-year-old Chandler Plante has been grappling with a litany of health issues since 2021. But it was not always like this for her. But before all of her health problems began in 2021, Plante described herself as a “normal 21-year-old”.
She contracted COVID-19 in December 2020 but recovered within a week since her case was mild. It was three months after her recovery that she began to notice numbness in her hands and forearms.
She went to the emergency room but was told her symptoms most likely had to do with “anxiety.” She recalls, “I was told to move along, so I left.
But then her health issues persisted, she said, “But it kept happening – and on June 28, a brain scan showed the symptoms I thought were panic attacks were actually big ischemic strokes. I had so much inflammation in my head that it was cutting off the oxygen to my arteries – while they’re supposed to measure at 4mm, mine were as narrow as 0.5mm.”
An ischemic stroke is when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain – it can often be fatal. The following month, she underwent a procedure where they fit coronary stents to widen the arteries in her brain so she would not suffer from strokes anymore.
In October 2021, she had a second round of stents put in. She had underwent a surgical procedure and steroid treatment and was also prescribed aspirin and for a while her strokes stopped.
But in November 2021, her stents began migrating to behind her right eye and started to ‘choke out’ her optic nerve. This led to her going permanently blind in one eye.
She said, “Doctors were stumped, they had no idea what could’ve caused it. They questioned whether it could be a brain tumor, but all my scans showed up clear.”
“It’s just really bizarre,” the young woman recalled.
She underwent a myriad of tests as doctors tried to figure out what could have gone wrong. She had a craniotomy keyhole surgery on her brain on December 6, 2021. Later the same month, she was referred for a lumbar puncture.
The same month, tissue leftover from her craniotomy was sent for biopsy to check for a severe form of long covid as well as the signs of brain tumor. In March 2022, she was prescribed an immunosuppressant called methotrexate. Then in November, 2021, she started a 10-day course of radiation therapy.
Every procedure and medical treatment left Plante feeling worse. She said, “Each treatment made me feel horrible.”
“I was experiencing horrific headaches and inflammation of my facial nerves thanks to my anti-seizure medication. It was excruciatingly painful,” the 23-year-old said.
All of this kept happening till April 2023, when she had a breakthrough in her case. She had her first infusion of a chemodrug called rituximab. It brought “some semblance of a normal life,” and some of her side effects even began to improve.
She said, “For the first time, I genuinely feel like my treatment is helping me. This is the least amount of side effects I’ve ever had, which is fabulous. I’m on a combination of rituximab and methotrexate – another chemotherapy drug. I experience some hair loss and thinning, but I balance this out with folic acid. It’s pretty normal for me at this point.”
She now makes videos to inspire others with her positivity. She said about her TikTok account, “My page is about healing and positivity – and dealing with an absurd situation. Many people believe positive humans are just born this way – but I think it’s something I’ve had to practice. I was tired of suffering.”
“Some days, those jokes I was making with my Starbucks baristas and nurses were the highlight of my day – because everything else was so horrible. It was a defense mechanism – I needed that positivity to lift me out of a really dark time. It helped me to heal in the most authentic way possible,” she said.
“I’ve made so many friends within the disabled community – I was so impressed by the kindness and humanity of the people around me while I was going through something that genuinely made me question whether I wanted to be here. You’ve got to look on the bright side – it’s the only one you’ve got,” the inspiring young woman added.
While Chandler Plante does not have an official diagnosis for her ongoing health issues, she chooses to look on the bright side of things and focus on the positives.
If you found this story interesting, check out the story of a 20-year-old who was told she was lazy only to find out she has cancer months later.
She really is an inspiring young woman. Share this story with others to remind them of the importance of advocating for yourself in your life!