Elder Matthew Gummow

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2.5 Years Later - Guillian Barre Syndrome

Matt and his neice
Resting 

This is Matt's mom again...Haven't posted for a long time but had some thoughts today and wanted to share them.

Matt has been home 2 1/2 years from Taiwan and Graduated from BYU in December with a degree in Psychology. He got a new job that required him to have a flu shot which may have triggered the following events.

Last week he went through a series of symptoms that took him to 4 emergency rooms trying to figure them out and eventually landed him in the hospital with a rare condition called "Guillian Barre Syndrome".  Through all the events of the past week, I had some thoughts I wanted to share:

What I have learned from Guillian Barre Syndrome…..

In my religious faith(LDS), we believe that everything was created spiritually before it was created physically and that we were once spirits before we came to earth and received our physical bodies. This morning as I was pondering the last week and the things I have learned about the immune system, I thought of the following analogy in terms of our bodies and our spirits:

  1. In Guillian Barre Syndrome, due to a factor such as a virus infection or flu shot, the body’s immune system becomes confused and instead of attacking the bad germs in the body, it begins to attack the good things in the body that make our bodies work such as the myelin sheath that covers the neurons and axons. 
  2.  It attacks our ability to feel, control our muscles and protect us from hurting ourselves.  It may limit our ability to breathe, eat, and experience joy or pain.
  3. We become numb or paralyzed in parts of our bodies. 
  4. We lose the ability to function on our own in some parts of the body. 
  5. This can happen over a long period of time (days or months) or progress very quickly (within a day).  
  6. With therapy (Plasmatherisis) our plasma can be cleansed of the confused antibodies or (IVIG) an injection of large amounts of good antibodies can override the effects of the bad antibodies so that our bodies can begin to heal and regain feeling and function.  
  7. Sometimes it makes us a little uncomfortable or nauseous in the process, but one can eventually regain full function. 
  8. There is no set time on how long the healing will take.  
  9. Therapy comes at great cost and it is available to everyone but it is a choice whether or not to receive it.


  1. With our spirits, due to a factor such as sin or an inoculation of negative thoughts or actions, sometimes our spiritual immune system becomes confused and instead of attacking the bad thoughts or feelings, it begins to attack good feelings & actions and faith that can bring us the greatest joy and happiness. 
  2.  It attacks our ability to feel the guidance of the holy ghost and our faith in God.
  3.  We become numb in our ability to feel the holy spirit and paralyzed in our faith to learn & spiritually progress. 
  4. We lose the ability to spiritually function on our own in some ways.
  5. This can happen over a long period of time or very quickly  
  6. With therapy (sincere repentance) and/or (faith in God) surrounding ourselves with goodness, the good thoughts can override the effects of sin and negative thoughts so that we can begin to heal and regain feeling & function.  
  7. Sometimes we may be uncomfortable in the process but we can eventually be healed and regain full function.  
  8. There is no set time on how long the healing will take.  
  9. The atonement came at great cost and it is available to everyone but it is a choice whether or not to receive it.


I am aware of many people who suffer from forms of spiritual and physical "Guillian Barre". Both are challenging and painful and difficult to diagnose and treat.  The love and support of family and friends is a wonderful healing factor in both cases and I pray for the speedy recovery of anyone who suffers from either of these conditions!

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