The road from Zionsville to Walt Disney World is more than 1,000 miles long. For the Reidlinger family, the road has been much longer.
Samantha Reidlinger, 6-year-old daughter of Lori Snider and Tom Reidlinger, was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease, Complex 1 deficiency, after more than four years of testing at Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.
The disease is a progressive degenerative disorder that affects organs and tissues in the brain, heart, liver and other areas that require high energy levels.
I will fight your fight.
Snider said she and her husband started noticing something was wrong with Samantha very early in her life.
“At about three months (of age), we started noticing some issues,” she said. “She was having 21 to 25 seizures per day, and we weren’t aware of it until we took her to the doctor.”
Doctors determined that Samantha was missing her corpus callosum, the part of the brain that transfers information from the left to the right side.
“We couldn’t figure out what else was going on,” Snider said. “From six months (old) and on, it was just kind of the same thing over and over; she kept getting pneumonia over and over and having all kinds of issues.”
Samantha was having several breathing problems. Then in May, Samantha stopped breathing.
“We rushed her to the hospital,” Snider said. “They had some trouble getting her back, but they eventually did. They did an emergency trach replacement in June.”
Snider said the trach replacement has helped her breathing, but Samantha still gets pneumonia.
“She’ll get pneumonia at least once a month,” she said. “There’s no filter like there should be; air just goes straight into her lungs.”
I will hold you tight.
The Make A Wish Foundation heard the little girl’s story and granted her wish to go to Disney World.