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Ole Miss grad's family fights to bring her home after being paralyzed

A Henrico, Virginia, family is working around the clock to bring their daughter home after a medical emergency on the other side of the world.

Posted: Jan 3, 2019 8:27 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 9:16 AM

HENRICO, VA (WRIC) -- A Henrico, Virginia, family is working around the clock to bring their daughter home after a medical emergency on the other side of the world.

"Your stomach drops and your world turns upside down," said Caroline Bradner's father Jim Bradner.

Caroline was working in Thailand as an English teacher when suddenly she became paralyzed from the neck down.

The 22-year-old was loving her time in Thailand but woke up days before Christmas unable to move from the neck down.

Caroline was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, causing temporary paralysis. It's an immune system condition that attacks the body's nerves.

As she works to regain movement in her body, her family is planning her return to Richmond.

"She wanted to travel," said Bradner. "She wanted to make a difference in people's lives."

Caroline spent the summer waitressing and saving money preparing to launch her career in Thailand.

With a marketing degree from Ole Miss, Caroline decided to pursue a job as an English teacher in Surat Thani.

"She loved her kids," said Bradner. "She loved working with the kids."

A few days before Christmas, her father received a shocking phone call.

"Letting us know she was in the hospital, in the ICU, and was paralyzed from the neck down," said Bradner.

After several medications, Caroline began physical therapy. She can now move her fingers.

"We see improvements every day," said Bradner. "They may be small improvements."

As Caroline starts to improve, her family works to bring her home.

Their insurance company denied an emergency claim to fly Caroline back.

The Gardners family are currently working with HCC Medical Insurance Services to fly Caroline back.

The community and strangers from all over the world have raised more than $70,000 to bring Caroline home.

A GoFundMe.com account can be found here.

"Outpouring of support from all over the country," said Bradner. "It's been amazing of friends, family strangers. It's very humbling. To know that people care. It could be anybody's daughter. It could be anybody's child. And they all want the same thing. They want them to be safe. They want them to come home. They want them to get better."

Despite obstacles, Bradner says his daughter's positive spirit is inspiring.

"Her being in Thailand has totally changed her outlook on life," said Bradner. "She says the people there are incredible, always happy. I think she wants to live like that. She has a great positive attitude. She wants to get home. So she's trying to do anything physical, physical therapy she can do to get home."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
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Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
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Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
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Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
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Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
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Newton396182
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Attala340490
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Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848137

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164052005
Mobile743681384
Madison53497738
Shelby38435371
Baldwin38195589
Tuscaloosa36152644
Montgomery34562782
Lee25655264
Calhoun22630520
Morgan22530411
Etowah20069520
Marshall18846318
Houston17777426
St. Clair16958359
Limestone16195220
Cullman16157306
Elmore15940295
Lauderdale15069307
Talladega14260302
DeKalb13083271
Walker12168380
Blount10779193
Autauga10560157
Jackson10214196
Coffee9435192
Colbert9366210
Dale9044192
Tallapoosa7285202
Russell710065
Chilton7090170
Covington6969197
Escambia6967144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5801142
Marion5437132
Dallas5302210
Pike5129109
Clarke485786
Lawrence4850130
Winston4793110
Geneva4655136
Bibb435795
Barbour370680
Butler3444101
Marengo342993
Monroe338366
Randolph337867
Pickens334890
Fayette331785
Henry321166
Cherokee320364
Hale319189
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252969
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141840
Sumter139841
Greene130545
Choctaw94428
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