• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: A frightening fight against autoimmune encephalitis

November 6, 2016

patient Gloria Pena and her family
It started with ear pain in the spring of 2014. Within a few weeks, Gloria Pena’s earache escalated into confusion and sensory loss.

“I thought it was a bad cold with an earache,” Gloria recalls. “But one day I picked up my son from school and didn’t remember the way home.”

From there, Gloria’s condition spiraled downward. Eventually, the 36-year-old mother of two ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma, diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis, a serious condition in which Gloria’s immune system was attacking her brain.

Determined to find help for his wife, Gloria’s husband, Emmanuel, brought her to Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. Although it took time, her Mayo Clinic care team was able to save Gloria and put her on the path to recovery.

“I am grateful for my husband’s persistence,” she says, “and the team of physicians, nurses and others at Mayo Clinic who reunited me with my family.” Read the rest of Gloria's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.