Columbia Teen Saddles Up for College While Battling Neuromuscular Disease

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Story Summary

Sami Dodd is only 18 years old, but she’s learned a lifetime of lessons about the importance of appreciating moments of joy and peace on the farm. For her, the past 12 months have been anything but a smooth ride.

She was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, or MG, a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and breathing problems. There is no cure, but medication can control the symptoms.

MU Health Care neuromuscular physician Raghav Govindarajan, MD, recognized the threat a myasthenic crisis poses to Dodd and other MG patients. To ensure someone would be able to respond immediately to an MG patient crisis call, Govindarajan trained his nursing staff to conduct a telephonic breath test that detects a problem and helps dictate when a patient needs to seek medical help.

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