Within hours of being rushed to the J. Hoffa Memorial Hospital, 19-year-old Nevaeh Roy-Abraham was diagnosed with organic brain disease. The Gender Studies major had been acting erratically for the past few days, friends divulged, and was found unresponsive in her bed by her roommate earlier today.
“Nev’s been pushing herself really hard lately,” reported classmate Taylum Bartleby, who helped the patient organize a food drive for impoverished vegan students only last week. “When she’s not studying, she spends most of her free time organizing rallies and fundraising for PETA. Add to that the fact that she went gluten and sugar-free earlier this year, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout.”
Roommate Claire-Beth McDonald agrees. “I’ve been selling her essential oils at a discount in an effort to get her to slow down and relax a bit, but they were unopened on her nightstand when I found her this morning.”
Doctors at the hospital’s emergency department initially mistook Ms. Roy-Abraham’s unresponsive state for hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, and anorexia. IV fluids boosted her Glasgow Coma Scale score from 3 to 8, at which point she began babbling incoherently about using raw foods to combat the gender wage gap. Consulting neurology was the only option left.
“I’ve only seen one or two other cases like this in the past ten years,” says Dr. Joyce Lai, the neurologist on call at the time of Ms. Roy-Abraham’s presentation. “We admitted her immediately and started IV Mannitol to control her rising intracranial pressure, and one of the residents placed an NG tube for refeeding with pure animal protein. We’ve placed her in 4-point restraints in anticipation of her return to consciousness.” When asked to give the prognosis of organic brain disease, Dr. Lai deferred, stating that Ms. Roy-Abraham would be transferred to psychiatry once her neurologic symptoms resolved.