Rare, growing disease lands 7 year-old in coma

WOWT 6 News Reporter Jessica Gill asked Solomon Pyle how old he is.

"Seven!" He exclaimed, as he held up seven fingers.

According to Mom - Sheila Pyle - that's progress.

Sheila said, "He's come a long way."

While it may not look or sound like it, this 7 year-old boy is making huge strides, following one scary diagnosis.

"It happened really sudden - really sudden. He just - one morning, 'Mommy, I think I have a headache," Sheila said.

Day two of his headache landed him in the ER. After being monitored for several hours, the doctors concluded, he must have viral meningitis.

It wasn't meningitis. In fact, Solomon was quickly fading.

"He just started becoming really confused and forgetful," Sheila said. "Almost like I had a 7 year-old with Alzheimer's."

It wasn't long before he went into a coma. Doctors began extensive testing.

Solomon was diagnosed with Auto-immune Encephalitis - his body was producing a protein that was attacking his brain.

Five days after treatment, though, he began to open his eyes. Nearly 30 days into his stay, at Children's Hospital, his pediatrician couldn't be more pleased.

Dr. Sharon Stoolman, a Pediatric Hospitalist, said, "We have not changed our goal or our hope that he will have a complete recovery."

According to Dr. Stoolman, Solomon's illness is on the rise. He's one of several kids at Children's to be recently diagnosed with the disease.

"There's a lot of theories out there," Dr. Stoolman said. "There's the clean hygiene theory that we're too clean, and that our bodies are bored and are making other proteins. I don't know what it is, but I do think some of it, is that we're looking for it."

And while doctors continue to look for more answers, Mom is looking for one thing only.

"I just want my son back. I just want him back," Sheila said.

As you might imagine, hospital bills are piling up for Solomon's family - not only from Solomon's illness, but his Sheila also recently underwent surgery for thyroid cancer.

There is a jewelry show/benefit for the family at Billy O's Lounge in Omaha, Monday, September 12th from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. All jewelry proceeds will be helping the family with gas, meals and co-pays.

There is also a GoFundMe page set up for the family.