Cathy Manner once worked up to 18 hours a day caring for Ecuador’s sickest children, running from cot to cot and hauling bulky medical shipments into a mobile hospital. Before and after her seven overseas missions, the pediatric nurse worked with very ill children at several Baltimore hospitals, then hopped in her car on weekends to drive from her Anne Arundel County home to the Eastern Shore to babysit her grandchild.
But her life changed abruptly early in 2012, beginning one day when she was assessing a young patient in Baltimore.
“I went to tell her mother my name and could hardly say it,” Manner said. “I was slurring, and so badly my words weren’t recognizable.”
Still, she took off for another mission, despite another alarming change.
“I was getting weak, even needing help putting carry-on luggage overhead,” said Manner, who is now 64.