Welcome to Steph's CaringBridge website. We felt this would be the easiest way to keep all of our family and friends updated on Steph's medical condition. So we would like to invite you to join us on this journey. Please feel free to leave us messages on the journal entries. They will be an encouragement to our family. Keep checking back for updates!
This is how it all began . . . On October 15, Stephanie’s life changed in an instant. When she woke up to get ready for work, she had no idea where she was and did not know her children. Her parents, Jon & Kathy Belch, rushed her to Emergency. After 16 days in the hospital and many tests, it was finally confirmed through a spinal tap and the Mayo Clinic that Stephanie had NMDA Encephalitis . . . an autoimmune disease where the body creates bad antibodies that attack the NMDA receptors in the brain. She was having internal brain seizures which caused her brain to swell. It was also discovered that she had a total of 3 lumps in her breasts that could be associated with this disease.
As a result of the brain seizures, Steph has had memory loss, difficulty speaking in complete sentences, movement disorder and cognitive impairment. Stephanie is a devoted single mom caring for her 15 year old daughter, Nicole and 8 year old son, Riley. Her lifelong dream is to care and provide for them well but because of this disease, she struggles to do this. Jon and Kathy have stepped in to help care for the kids, take them to activities, help with schoolwork as well as take Stephanie to all of her appointments since she cannot drive for at least 6 months.
Stephanie is just beginning her recovery. With COVID ever around us, it has been difficult to get appointments set up with neurologists, surgeons and therapists. Stephanie’s path to recovery will be a long one. It usually takes months to years to completely recover from the effects of this disease. We are trusting the Lord every step of the way.
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8