Smithville family seeking answers after teen suddenly loses sense of smell then becomes blind

Jordyn Walker loves photography.

She recently developed a passion for archery and she’s been looking at a future in journalism.

Two weeks ago, though, instead of thinking about her learner’s permit, the 15-year-old was fighting for her life and she’s now blind.

Doctors don’t know why.

“I was terrified because there’s nothing you can do,” her mother, Kendyll Walker, said.

This isn’t the first time, though, that the Smithville teen has lost one of her senses.

Once a year, almost every year, Jordyn has dealt with bowel and stomach issues usually made better after a prescription.

Last summer, though, she got her normal symptoms with the addition of tooth pain and bleeding from here nose, eyes and ears.

Then, she lost her senses of smell and taste.

“It’s not every day you become a medical mystery,” Jordyn said.

“We went to every specialty. Allergy, immunology, rheumatology. Every specialty with no answers,” Kendyll Walker said. “We were searching and were told it was a one-in-a-million case and probably would never happen again.”

Sixteen months later, she to go to the emergency room at KU Medical Center because the severe symptoms had started back up.

“It was happening again, and I couldn’t stop it,” Jordyn said. “It was just really hard.”

Surgeons worked to relieve extreme pressure on her eyes and eventually removed part of her orbital bones.

She’s now blind.

“There wasn’t, like, an hour of my time when I didn’t think I was going to die,” Jordyn said through tears. “Things get taken from you so quickly and you don’t know when it’s going to happen.”

“Think back when you were 15 years old and everything you’ve seen since you’ve been 15,” Kendyll Walker said. “She won’t have that opportunity.”

Doctors still don’t know why she’s lost her senses. They say her symptoms are similar to an auto-immune disease.

“This presentation is definitely unique,” Dr. Travis Langner, KUMC’s division chief of pediatric critical care, said. “We will continue to work on it until an answer is found.”

The family is planning a trip to the Mayo Clinic soon in search of more answers. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses. They’ve also created a Facebook page to allow people to provide any input and follow her journey.

“I just want an answer. I just want to know why it happened,” Jordyn said. “Even if there’s not a cure, I just want to know why.”

After she lost her sight, Jordyn started to regain her sense of smell.

“Maybe she will get her sight back,” Kendyll Walker said. “I keep praying.”

In confusion and distress, She’s also determined to continuing being Jordyn.

“Who’s going to tell me that I can’t do it?” she said.

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