Francisco, Age 27, Chicago, IL

In 2015 Francisco was an average 22 year old, awaiting his day to ship out to basic training for the United States Navy. In the weeks leading up to his going away party Francisco started to have flu like symptoms and a severe headache. Thinking nothing of it he continued on with his day-to-day life. However, things started to get worse over the next few days. He experienced hallucinations, out-of-character-like behavior and memory lapses. Francisco shut out family and friends not knowing what was going on with himself. He started to experience seizures and fatigue, he went to see his doctor and his doctor scheduled him for testing the following day.

Due to memory issues Francisco forgot about the appointment and never showed-up nor did he tell anyone about what he was experiencing. That night, Francisco had his going away party with close friends and family. An hour into his party Francisco had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors at the hospital treated him for his seizure and sent him home. On the way home he experienced 2 more seizures and his mother turned the car around and drove him to Rush University Hospital located in downtown Chicago. Upon arrival Francisco was incoherent and barley conscious. Medical personnel wheeled Francisco into the ER and within a few hours imaging of his brain showed swelling, he was rushed to the ICU and placed in a medically induced coma. It was a month before neurologist where able to diagnose Francisco with NMDA encephalitis. Over the course of the next 10 months Francisco would be treated at 3 different hospitals. He had to relearn to walk, speak and learn to provide simple life actions again.

Today, Francisco is 27 years old with no major remaining effects of this year long battle. Medically discharged from the Navy Francisco is now a Paramedic and motivational speaker.