Dover AFB Airman Battles Rare Illness - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover AFB Airman Battles Rare Illness

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Airman 1st Class Lori Cord (Photo: WBOC) Airman 1st Class Lori Cord (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. - Airman 1st Class Lori Cord is back to work part-time at Dover Air Force Base, after being diagnosed with a debilitating yet rare disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome -- or GBS. The body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

"My calves felt like they were just ripping off of my body and my back started to hurt," said Cord, who is crew chief of the 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Cord says she got the flu mist back in October. Days later she was not feeling well. She ended up in the emergency room.  The illness got so bad, it even paralyzed her, forcing her to relearn how to walk and talk.

"With this syndrome you can go really far and be really great and then have 16 setbacks and then I could be back in a walker. With me, I'm progressing. The nerves haven't completely healed yet so my full recovery could take awhile," said Cord.

Her military family stood by her side.

"We're there to take care of them and their families. That bond that we have makes us who we are. It's makes us stronger," said Commander Andrew Levien of DAFB.

"She had her rough moments where she thought she was going to die. I told her she's was crazy, but through everything she's always been that driven person, so determined, so strong," said Airman 1st Class Maxine Bustria of DAFB.

"Through everything that she's been through, not once did she lose her attitude or her happiness," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Mitchell of DAFB

"All I can say is I'm excited for every day that I can wake up and that I can get myself ready, or make myself food or come to work," said Cord.

Cord's determination and strength is why others call her an inspiration.

Cord says she doesn't discourage anyone from getting the flu vaccine.

GBS syndrome is rare, affecting about one in 100,000 annually.

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