TODAY   |  October 12, 2013

Teenager fights to overcome sudden paralysis

A teenage girl had her life changed in an instant when she suddenly felt excruciating pain in her body. Within hours, she became paralyzed and blind. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> a florida teenager's life changed in an instant where she somehow contracted a rare disease that left her paralyzed and blind. as kerry sanders tells us she is not letting that hold her back in any way.

>> reporter: texting friends like any 17-year-old. jasmine was an overachiever. star volleyball player. a high school senior , also taking college credit courses. then one day, two months ago, jasmine melt a pain.

>> i had excruciating bad pain. it was like i didn't know what it was. it didn't feel like i had strained a muscle. then it started to go through my chest.

>> reporter: within 24 hours , without warning, jasmine was mysteriously paralyzed from the neck down from the neck down. her parents were frantic as she lay in the hospital dead.

>> i get goose bumps every time i think of it.

>> when i walked in there, i walked in the room and walked out and immediately started trying.

>> reporter: baffled at first, doctors treating jasmine at joe dimaggio 's chirns hospital in hollywood, florida, she is one of a few teenagers to get m.m.o. disease. most in their 40s and 50s.

>> it's like having a stroke and, boom.

>> it attacks the nervous system. they estimate there are only 4,000 known nmo cases in the united states .

>> scoot all the way to me.

>> reporter: there is no known cure but in some cases, symptoms mysterious are reversed. she has regained use of her upper body.

>> being down, being sad about what you have, you know, life is going to go on, even if you're sad and laying in bed and crying for yourself.

>> she has a positive energy about her and i think that is important in her recovery.

>> reporter: therein lies a little bit of medicine how a patient's