LINCOLNTON, N.C.––It’s all about persevering through pain and conquering it.
And that’s just what Gabby Johnson is doing: battling on and through her pain. The Lincolnton girl, the daughter of James and Sarah Elizabeth Lowman, is continuing the fight against several rare conditions that are inflicting upon her a life of pain. Gabby and her brave fight have garnered her much local attention and support, including here in the Lincoln Herald, with friends, family and others urging her on in her campaign to “Stay strong, Gabby!”
As Mrs. Lowman explained Tuesday, her daughter’s primary diagnosis is complex regional pain syndrome, formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It’s a progressive disease of the autonomic nervous system.
“The pain is characterized as constant, extremely intense and out of proportion to the original injury,” Lowman said. “The pain is typically accompanied by swelling, skin changes and extreme sensitivity, and it can often be debilitating. It usually affects one or more of the four limbs but can occur in any part of the body. And in over 70 percent of the victims, it spreads to additional areas.”
Gabby also suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition characterized by too little blood returning to the heart when moving from a recumbent to a standing position. It can cause lightheadedness or fainting. In people with this syndrome, these symptoms are also accompanied by a rapid increase in heart rate.
And lastly, there is gastroparesis, a motility disorder. This condition involves a paralyzed stomach and means the muscles that normally contract to move food along the digestive tract do not work properly. Thus the stomach empties too slowly, if at all, as Lowman explained.
She continued that Gabby’s younger sister, Katie, 12, nicknamed “Bug,” has been a big help throughout her sibling’s struggle.
“She has been a huge, selfless help in this painful journey,” said Lowman, “and she brings so much joy into our lives.”
And she added that Gabby has recently written and self-published a book, The Stranger Within. The book is part of an intended trilogy. It’s been available on Amazon for a bit over a month now.
These are, said Lowman, “dreams that have come true.”
She extolled her daughter for working so hard to achieve her goals. Lowman also thanked God for making it all possible.
Of her daughter’s book, she added:
“It’s hard to market, like at book-signings and conventions, due to her pain, but I’ll try to help her any way I can. Her family and friends are amazed at her gift, and it’s hard not to be biased, because I’m so proud. But she’s truly talented!”
Want to help Gabby in her struggle with these painful maladies? E-mail her mom at email@example.com.
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