Family searches for cure for daughter, 7, with mystery illness

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A family in Richmond, Va., is desperate to find a cure for a mystery illness that’s plaguing their 7-year-old daughter Maddie.

“Maddie is miserable,” mother Erin Hays told our sister station WTVR. “She has seen specialists in rhuemetology, immunology, dermatology and infectious disease. We are currently waiting on an appointment with hematology/oncology.”

The Hays family decided to come forward with their story because they hope someone who sees it might know how to help their little girl.

According to WTVR, Maddie first broke out in what her mother called a “mystery rash” when she was just two years old. That rash went away.

The rash came back last fall, with a vengeance. It is so large, it has caused painful swelling on Maddie’s face. When the swelling gets very bad, her mother said, Maddie’s eyes are forced to close.

Her family has set-up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help offset their medical bills.

You can contact the Hays family through the Hope for Maddie Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Pat Pankey

    Silly question, but have they run free3 and free t4, reverse t3, thyroid antibodies on her? I was horribly, mysteriously ill for eight years before I finally forced the dictor to run those tests. I was found to have hashimotos disease, which manifests itself in many ways.

  • Angela

    it looks like an auto immune disease which could be Lupus, thyroid disorders, and others mentioned here. Take her to Mayo clinic would be my suggestion if the other doctors are clueless and unwilling to continue trying to figure it out.

  • Krist

    MAYO CLINIC asap. They put together a team of doctors and it runs like a well oiled machine. I went to the original clinic in Minnesota and HIGHLY recommend it. I had been sick for 10 years. Between my amazing rheumatologist at Duke and the Docs st Mayo we have answers. I wish this story had more details so those of us with mystery illnesses might could help a bit more, or see what the other puzzle pieces may be in her case.

  • Chris

    Probably wont find a cure, here we go, Keep her out of the sun, no grass, number one things, all cotton, no polyester at all, down/feather, pillow,comforters, NO Water,what i mean is only shower once or twice a week, basically the same with hands, don’t wash then that often, this is not a joke, bar soap. carpet is bad, hardwood the best, not forced air, radiant heat. No chemicals at all, don’t itch, i know very hard,even if you have to put oven mitt’s with tape at night. Foods, no eggs, dairy, soy, yes, soy, oats, wheat, Most natural is better, Leafy greens, Don’t let her touch ham, it is the worst. Eczema, is what i have. these are just a few main things, i have to do, it will take time to find out all you have to stay away from but these are some of the big ones. Good luck.

  • Stephanie

    Take it from someone who was literally in a very similar situation a year ago exactly, this can be frustrating to figure out what’s going on. I had been dealing with an odd rash that would come and go across my body for the entire summer of 2013 but no allergist or dermatologist could figure it out. It wasn’t until I woke up like a tomato (very similar to the rash your daughter is presenting) and with a 103 fever that landed me in the ER. It was definitely an auto immune related disorder, however my body was under such stress that my kidneys and liver began to fail. Unfortunately, I too was seen by literally 20+ doctors from rheumatology to infectious disease to a hematology. No one could provide any answers, until a resident doctor suggested to do a bone marrow biopsy to test for HLH (Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis disease), a rare blood disease because he happen to remember a lecture he attended at the University of Chicago that had a patient that presented with similar symptoms. Long story short, I had it. I was treated with a steroid treatment (and one round of chemo (apparently thats the typical course for treating HLH) however my body was already responding to the steroids, then chemo was never provided again. Moving forward I began kinerat injection shots and a tapering dosage of prednisone.
    What is also similar to your situation is that I had a rash 10 years prior to this and doctors thought I had what was called STILLS disease. However, since it’s so rare, they couldn’t definitively diagnose me. Luckily it went away, but eventually surfaced 10 years later, but progressed into HLH.
    Since my episode a year ago, I’ve been closiely watched by a plethora of doctors. With various trial and error medications, I am happy to say my illness is under control.

  • CatQ

    You know crazy unknown symptoms come from Genetically Modified Foods allergies. She should check into her diet, one suspected symptom is face rashes. Completely Organic diet should be introduced.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.