Soon to be a freshman the University of Maryland, Melissa plans on becoming a high school English teacher.
Melissa Warzinsky has endured years of serious illness and uncertainty.
When she was a freshman at North Carroll High School, she began to lose her appetite and experience severe stomach pains. Months passed before she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The relief was short-lived.
In her sophomore year her health declined precipitously. She practically stopped eating because of the pain it caused her. She lost 35 pounds, slept excessively and according to her “lost all joy.” One day in March of that year, her body simply gave out and she went into shock and collapsed. That was when she was brought to Sinai for the first time. Sinai’s specialists realized that Melissa had been misdiagnosed. She was suffering not from ulcerative colitis, but from Crohn’s disease.
During her junior year, Melissa was doing well. But, by the next summer, she was constantly exhausted. She returned to Sinai, this time for 15 days. It was then that Melissa and her family experienced the true depth of Sinai’s expertise as a wide ranging group of specialists—gastroenterologists, oncologists and pediatricians—searched for the elusive cause of her fatigue.
A sophisticated bone marrow test revealed that Melissa was suffering from a rare Epstein-Barr induced syndrome, lymphohistocytosis in the bone marrow. Once properly diagnosed, she was successfully treated. In her stay at Sinai, Melissa and her family not only saw the expertise that distinguishes us, they felt—in large and small ways—for over two weeks, the kindness of the entire staff. Melissa remembers nurses who always had time for her, physicians who patiently answered her questions, and the night when a nurse left the hospital to get her the Italian ice she had been craving. Both Melissa and her mother recall the wonderful moment when physicians and nurses who had come to know her well in those two weeks rushed into her room with huge smiles of triumph and joy. After all the days of fear and doubt, they told her that she did not have cancer, that they had found the cause of her fatigue and would begin treating it immediately. Within 12 hours, the energy she had lacked for so long began to seep back into her body. Today, Melissa’s health is stabilized. She is a teenager again. Soon she will enter her freshman year at the University of Maryland.