Neely's Story

If 2010 and 2011 are years of recovery and celebration for the Thompsons, then 2009 was the year of the unexpected: Neely (left) developed a rare neurological disorder. Here's her story, in her mother's words.

I’m Christy Thompson, and this is my daughter Neely’s story. 

On May 15, 2009, my 2-year-old daughter, Neely, caught a virus. There wasn’t anything special about the virus; it was just your typical 24-hour stomach bug.In trying to fight it off, Neely’s immune system became confused and began attacking her brain and spinal cord. This rare condition is called Acute Disseminating Encephalomyelitis (ADEM). 

 It took less than 12 days for Neely to go from a healthy, happy toddler to a heartbeat and a shallow breath.

It was on that 12th day that my husband and I took Neely to the Emergency Room at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System (GHS).  Less than five hours went by before Neely’s team of physicians had scheduled an MRI, Spinal Tap, EEG, CT Scan, new films and new blood work.

 We were in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for seven days before moving to Children’s Hospital and then to Roger C. Peace Hospital for rehabilitation. We poured every ounce of energy into understanding what challenges were ahead and how best to overcome them.

 Neely had round-the-clock occupational, physical and speech therapy. Every time we turned around, there was a new evaluation or testto monitor her progress, and while those tests don’t come as frequently anymore, they haven’t stopped. Although she continues to be monitored by her neurologist and therapists, Neely has made a full physical recovery. And we couldn’t have done it without the help of the staff at Children's Hospital and Roger C. Peace.

Dr. Augusto Morales is our hero, without a doubt. He and the staff at Children’s Hospital saved Neely’s Life.  

There truly are no words to describe the support and encouragement that we felt from Dr. Morales, the staff at Children's Hospital and the staff at Roger C. Peace. The words “thank you” are grossly inadequate.At moments when we felt completely overwhelmed with fear and exhaustion, therewas always someone there to comfort and encourage us, helping us to continue pushing forward.

When you need them, the Children’s Hospital is there. For that, my family and I are eternally grateful.

That’s why we want to share our story with you, and that’s why we want to share the many ways our community can give back to Children’s Hospital so that kids like Neely continue to receive the bestmedical care possible.

Get Involved

If you'd like more information on supporting our pediatric patients and families, contact Philanthropy & Partnership Director of Children's Services Crissy Maynard at (864) 797-7735 or

Donate to GHS Children's Hospital 

You can also visit to purchase needed items for Children’s Hospital or to start your own toy drive and spread the word about supporting Children’s Hospital.