Gabriella was diagnosed with an extremely rare congenital disease called Neurocutaneous Melanosis. There is little known about it and there is no known cure. The disease attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and has a very poor prognosis once neurological symptoms begin.
In November of 2007 Gabby underwent two shunt surgeries for hydrocephalus, which is a major neurological symptom of this disease that doctors were unaware she had. In February of this 2008 she was diagnosed with NCM and underwent an extensive surgery that included a shunt revision, external drain for her subdural hematoma (caused by the shunt failure), and a procedure to drain the tumor that was compressing her spine.
The surgery revealed that the disease had consumed her entire spinal cord which was causing her to have radiating pain throughout her body, as well as a regression in her ability to walk. In addition, she experienced neuropathic pain and seizures that required different medications to control.
In her last month she was quadriplegic, but her smile shined through the frustration. In her last days she was blind, mute, quadriplegic, and in her final hours unconscious.
Thank you to HOSPICE of Saratoga for your support so Gabriella could be home and surrounded by her family, friends, and all things familiar. Gabriella passed on May 28, 2008 in her own bed during prayers. Although we deeply mourn our loss, we rejoice in her victory through Christ Jesus who has made her whole in Heaven.