This Teen Got a Mysterious Illness From Something Millions Wear Every Day
Kennedy Odom, a 15-year-old from Memphis, suffered from a mysterious illness for months. She developed painful blisters and lesions in and around her mouth, couldn't chew or swallow food comfortably, and was too weak to go to school. Unable to eat, Kennedy lost 30 pounds. Doctors tested her for everything from strep throat to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (a rare skin disorder), but couldn't figure out what was wrong.
"Kennedy is my only child and just watching her suffer, you can't do anything to help your child and the people who are knowledgeable don't know how to help you," her mom Cicely Odom-Rose told WMC Action News 5. "Here in Memphis everything is centered around food, so she would avoid eating and, of course, I would not want to eat around her."
Frustrated, Cicely and Kennedy's godmother Tamara Irving turned to the Internet for answers. They wondered, since all of Kennedy's symptoms centered around her mouth, could the culprit be her braces?
Both Kennedy and Cicely got braces in February 2015. Nine months later, Kennedy got sick. It turns out that Kennedy is allergic to nickel, the material found in most braces.
"Where the nickel was touching her mouth, her mouth had the outbreak of these lesions," her periodontist Dr. Mitchel Godat told WMC Action News 5. "In her case, she has a hyper-immune system for lots of things."
Kennedy's braces were removed and she's now being treated by several doctors.
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