By Felicity Monk in the New Zealand Herald.
What do you do with a child who falls ill and is never again well enough to return to school? Felicity Monk reports for The Wireless on the illness striking down thousands of New Zealand children and teenagers.
Seven years ago, Teresa’s* three children, then aged 9, 12 and 13, became sick over the school holidays with glandular fever. But instead of recovering from the viral illness, they all got worse. Much worse. Their energy levels plummeted, they developed sensitivity to light, sound and motion; and their muscles and joints throbbed in pain. Simply sitting and standing up was exhausting.
Teresa took her oldest child, who was the most unwell, to a paediatrician, who ran tests and ruled out a number of illnesses, finally settling on a diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Within 18 months, her two other children were also diagnosed with ME/CFS. For the following three years, all three were too unwell to attend school.
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