GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (CBS Local) — A Michigan woman who was suffering from a syndrome that attacks the body’s nerves, says she felt like she’d lost all hope –until her boyfriend popped the question.
Olivia Satala, 22, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. The cause is unknown and there is no cure.
“It was like this hollow feeling and I realized that I didn’t feel like I was touching my own body… like I would touch my legs or my stomach, my thighs and it didn’t feel like I was touching myself because the rest of my body wasn’t perceiving it,” Satala told WXMI.
In January, Satala was sent to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids for physical therapy. Her boyfriend of two-and-a-half years, Devan Jaime, was by her side for each part of her treatment.
“It’s not like I wanted to be home because it’s not home without her there, so I always just wanted to be with her,” he said.
One month into rehabilitation, in February, all hope seemed lost when he decided to give Olivia a little extra encouragement.
“On the 24th, after a pretty intense, emotional break down, like hitting a low point, Devan asked me to marry him,” Satala said.
After months of being numb, Satala says that surprise proposal sparked something within.
“‘Cause I didn’t want to do anything anymore, I didn’t think I was getting better and then within five minutes I was like ‘Alright. Well, let’s get started!’”
Satala is now moving better than she has since the first day she was diagnosed. She and Jaime were scheduled to leave Wednesday for Saginaw for six months of out-patient therapy. After that, the young couple plans to move back to Grand Rapids where they will get busy planning their wedding, set for Oct. 19, 2020.
Satala is hoping for a full recovery.
“Now I have to walk down the aisle, and I don’t want to do that in a walker, sooo…,” she said.