Florence girl raises awareness for Dysautonomia

Pee Dee

19-year-old Meredith Strickland battles with an invisible illness called Dysautonomia, now she’s raising awareness by turning something tragic into something positive around the community. 

“I kinda lose control over my body and my muscles will contract involuntary and cramp,” said Meredith Strickland. 

Meredith was just a child when she started complaining about her heart rate and constant headaches, but multiple doctors didn’t know what was going on at the time. 

“When she was about 12, she was diagnosed with POTS. Nothing makes her normal or northing make her feel better. Her body doesn’t respond to pain medicines, so she’s in a lot of pain and it’s hard to watch your child lay there and suffer,” said mother, Jeannie. 

Meredith tells News13 that it’s a daily struggle and this disorder has taken her independence completely because her symptoms can come back at any time. 

“That affects my vocal cords, my ability to breathe and walk. I was in a wheelchair for a while but thankfully we worked through that,” said Meredith. 

Her family said this has been life changing for them as well. 

“One of us had to stay with her basically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because her medicine was messing with her lungs and everything,” said father, Robbie. 

Community members are hosting event, fundraisers, and benefit rides to help Meredith and her family as much as they can. 

“Nobody has the money to afford the medical expenses as crazy as they are. Insurance doesn’t cover anything anymore. It just reaches to me personally because I think about my own life and my own child,” said family friend, Hayley Pleasant. 

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