Deanna Wheeler, an Austin Air Force veteran and musician is known for helping others and now is in need of a little help herself. Wheeler contracted a rare autoimmune disorder that left her paralyzed.
A day before Mother’s Day, Wheeler entered an emergency room—she couldn’t move her legs, and within hours it spread to her diaphragm.
“My oxygen dropped and I was on breathing machines and I went to the ICU,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler was a great supporter of the Regroup Foundation, that helps members of the military transition back into civilian life. “I fell in love with their whole story, their whole mission statement, they just rang to me because it could’ve helped me too.”
After a meeting with a neurologist and lots of tests she learned more about what was going on.
“I take all these tests and I wake up and they basically tell me I have Guillain-Barre,” said Wheeler.
Guillain-Barre is an autoimmune disorder that attacks healthy nerves in the peripheral nervous system.
“There is no cause and there is no cure,” Wheeler said.
In some cases, it leads to paralysis as in the case of Wheeler. She will need to learn how to use a wheelchair instead of going no tour this summer.
“It’s hard, it’s really hard, and it’s actually really anxiety provoking,” said Wheeler.
Whenever she feels down support pours in from all over the country, “Everybody’s come to see me, everybody has just shown so much support and it’s a lot of the music industry.”
She is slowly recovering thanks to physical therapy, ” This is probably my favorite one to do because it is like motivating that I get to stand back up,” said Wheeler while using an A-frame machine.
It will take her 8 to 12 months to recover her doctor said.
“It’s different … it’s humbling though in a way,” said Wheeler. “As soon as I can do it, I will excel at it, and I will do it around the clock and nobody can stop me.”
If you would like to help there is a gofundme page for Deanna Wheeler.