Posts Tagged ‘hair dryer’

Hairdryer Shock Leaves MO Woman With Longterm Medical Problems

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Nixa, MO –┬áIf you’re like most people, your morning routine is just that — routine. You get up and get ready for the day ahead.

But a Nixa woman’s routine nearly killed her about 15 months ago.

Amanda Denham was getting ready for work when she got a shock to the system that changed everything.

The 23-year-old is a licensed cosmetologist. She does makeup, hair, nails. She did, anyway, until a “tool” of her trade took her trade away.

“I could see her hand attached to the wall with the plug in her hand,” says Delores Denham, Amanda’s mother. “As I hit the door, I knocked her away from the wall.”

The plug belonged to a hair dryer.

“I remember plugging it in, and I remember waking up basically on the floor,” says Amanda.

With hair barely damp from the night before, Amanda reached for the hair dryer. It was virtually the last time she’d reach for anything.

She can’t feel her hand or much of her right side. She needs help to walk.

In the 15 months since the shock, Herb Denham isn’t seeing progress.

“You think it’s getting worse?” asks Joy.

“Know it’s getting worse,” says Herb.

The family has had to downsize into a small apartment. Delores and Herb buy medicine for Amanda when they can, but owe more than they have.

“It’s upward of $30,000 right now,” says Delores.

Medicine for neurological problems, her constant rapid heartbeat, migraines, pain, thyroid — it’s more than the couple, who both live on social security, can afford.

“They happen on a fairly regular basis,” says Debbie Mikkelson, Director of Nursing at St. John’s Burn Center, where Amanda spent one night.

“Part of it could have been just her individual anatomy, physiology, her nerves and how it reacted to the electricity,” says Mikkelson.

“We have no way of being able to prove anything,” says Delores.

The family says it isn’t interested in suing the maker of the dryer or the plug.

“And you still use it?” asks Joy.

“Yes I do,” says Delores. “I used it this morning.”

They just hope this jolt of reality won’t keep their daughter down forever.

“It was just a freak thing, I guess,” she says.

Amanda does not use the dryer any more. She actually pulled herself together and went to work after the accident, but she went home early as paralysis started to take hold.

Now the family is working to get Medicaid so Amanda can get — and afford — a primary care doctor.

No one knows for sure what went wrong.

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