Teen Who Feels No Pain Counts Her Blessings
Meggie Zahneis' story in her own words:
"Hi, I'm Meggie, and I'm 14 years old. I was born with a very rare disorder called HSAN II (Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy, type 2). There's only about 50 people diagnosed worldwide with this disorder. Basically, HSAN II means I don't feel pain, temperature and touch to the same degree as everyone else. I don't have reflexes either, but I do have hypothermia and hearing loss. It can be very challenging at times, since I have to be treated mainly based on symptoms. That's where Cincinnati Children's has been such a valuable resource for me and my family, especially since it is both close to us and offers all the specialists I need. At one point or another, I've visited just about every department at Cincinnati Children's. In fact, I spent my first 38 days in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) at Cincinnati Children's and have been at one campus or another pretty much every week since. That's why I want to thank Cincinnati Children's. Everyone I see there — from the doctors, nurses, and therapists to the receptionists that check me in — has been absolutely wonderful. What I appreciate most of all is that they listen to me and answer my questions, not just my parents', and make me feel comfortable in situations that often aren't comfortable. Children's has been there for me for all these years, and best of all, I know they will be for many more."