She is fighting for her family and others in front of the some of our state’s most powerful people, and Kaitlyn Fowler is only in fifth grade.
Kaitlyn is helping her mother Sophie with a push to get South Carolina to recognize PANDAS or PANS.
Her brother suffers from Pediatric Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is characterized by the sudden, dramatic onset of symptoms like obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, and motor or vocal tics.
“Spend the night at a friend’s house happy and healthy, the next day you can’t be out of my sight, depressed, suicidal, barely talking, and not eating,” said Kaitlyn’s mom Sophie.
Two weeks in the hospital in Charleston finally ended with a PANDAS diagnosis. However, they had to travel to North Carolina and New Jersey for the proper treatment.
It took its toll on Kaitlyn. Her brother’s intrusive thoughts about the world ending were scary to her and she had to spend weeks away from her family while her brother was treated.
Kaitlyn traveled to Columbia at the and of April to testify in front of a Senate committee about a bill to create an advisory council on PANDAS/PANS.
“I just talked about how it affected me and my family and how to help other kids who have it,” said Kaitlyn. “They said that it made a difference and that made me really happy.”
The bill sailed through the House and is right now in a Senate committee.