*Kennedy Odom suffered for months with a painful condition that seemed to come from out of nowhere. The 15-year-old Memphis girl dealt with painful blisters and lesions in and around her mouth, couldn’t chew or swallow food comfortably, and was too weak to go to school. Because she wasn’t able to eat, Kennedy lost 30 pounds.
Even after she was tested by doctors for everything from strep throat to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (a rare skin disorder), there were no answers as to what was ailing her.
“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.”
Thank goodness for the Internet and a family that wouldn’t quit.
Kennedy’s mother and grandmother began their own research, and starting from where her symptoms were located — around her mouth — they wondered if the braces she (and her mother) got in February 2015 could be at fault. After all, she appeared to get sick nine months later.
Sure enough, it WAS the braces…Kennedy is allergic to nickel, the material found in most braces.
This possibility had apparently never even crossed the doctors’ mind.
“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.”
Needless to say, the braces had to be removed and Kennedy is being treated for her symptoms. In the process her family has been hit with $15,000 in medical expenses.