Stéphanie Ratté

Starting from zero

In January 2020, Stéphanie Ratté was pregnant and the mother of an 18-month-old girl when her life was turned upside down in a matter of days. Thankfully, the Parents Plus Clinic came to her rescue with material, psychological and parental assistance.

At the age of 31, Stéphanie Ratté was dividing her time between her work as a nursing assistant, raising her one-year-old daughter and preparing for the baby she was carrying. But her life changed in an instant when she was struck down by Guillain Barré syndrome in early 2020. This neurological disorder paralyzes its victim as the body’s immune system attacks its peripheral nerves.

In just three days, I couldn’t even scratch my nose,” recounts Stéphanie, who had to spend a few days under observation in intensive care, where her lungs had to be monitored in case she had to be intubated. After that, she spent more than 10 days in a neurological intensive care unit. “On a scale of 1 to 10, my physical disability was 8.”

Urgent and crucial assistance

The specialists estimated Stéphanie would need two full years of rehabilitation. But because her spouse was unable to look after their child on his own, Stéphanie decided to live at home rather than in a specialized centre.

I went from being a completely dependent person to a fully functional mother who could get things done.”

Stéphanie Ratté

Realizing the extent of her physical weakness, her recurring fatigue and the impact of the pregnancy on her body, Stéphanie’s occupational therapist put her in touch with the Parents Plus Clinic. At first, she received material assistance including a bathtub on wheels so that she could sit properly to bathe her child; a pregnancy belt to support her unborn child; an adapted change table; and an adjustable bench to pick her child up from the floor.

A psychologist was also there to help with her personal and parental adaptation. And a specialized educator gave her tips and advice on how to manage the many challenges of family life. “With chronic fatigue, I couldn’t cope with one crisis after another. So, I had to find quick solutions to every problem.” She also got help with housework, which allowed her to get some much-needed rest.

A contribution that changed everything

Now, while hoping for a return to normal life by the start of the next school year, Stéphanie has nothing but praise for the Parents Plus Clinic and what it did for her. The team made all the difference. I went from being a completely dependent person to a fully functional mother who could get things done. It was like I’d been asked to travel 40 km on a tricycle, but then the Parents Plus Clinic came along and gave me a racing bike to cover the distance. Their experts gave me the autonomy I needed to function properly.”

“In just three days, I couldn’t even scratch my nose.”

Stéphanie Ratté
Living with Guillain Barré syndrome since 2020