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‘It takes a village:’ Local mother battles rare neurological condition

<i>WXYZ</i><br/>Aisha Williams
Aisha Williams

By Carolyn Clifford, John Ciolino

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    DETROIT (WXYZ) — As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we want to show you the true meaning of the saying “It takes a village”.

The daughter of an Army veteran and mother of twin teenagers is facing a battle to regain her life as she once knew it. After working in the medical field and then following her passion into the beauty industry, Aisha Williams knew she wanted to be what she grew up watching: a strong mother who instilled in her children to be God-fearing and believing nothing is impossible, even defeating a viral infection that has left her unable to work.

Her workstation at Kream Salon sits empty and leaves a hole in the hearts of this family of hair stylists. For a decade, Aisha Williams has called this salon her work home. Coworkers say she was always smiling, always filled with joy.

WXYZ’s Carolyn Clifford asked, “You all have rallied around her like a family to get through it and then she’s still so up. How is that?”

“Aisha has always been a positive person she tries to look at everything in a positive way,” said Tomica Stone from Kream Salon.

Then in March this mother of two, the picture of good health, was celebrating her twins turning 18.

“We had a good day,” said Aisha Williams.

Then came an intense burning sensation in her arms.

“By the time I made it up my ten stairs in my room, my hands were numb, couldn’t grab anything couldn’t hold anything, so my son had to help me get dressed,” said Williams.

“Were you freaking out?” asked Clifford.

“I was freaking out and I was freaking out internally because my son although he was being very strong, very calm for me, I know how my kids are when I’m hurt,” said Williams.

Her son calls 911 but she was paralyzed.

“By the time I got on the gurney to close the EMS doors I felt everything was gone like I couldn’t feel anything from my chest down,” said Williams.

This, followed with stays at two Ascension Michigan hospitals, 5 MRI’s, CT scans, a lumbar tap, and blood testing galore.

“Everything came back negative,” said Williams.

She landed at the Detroit Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).

“The only thing that came about is transverse myelitis which is inflammation of the spinal cord,” said Williams.

Aisha says she has a lesion on her cervical spine.

“They said there is no surgery needed for this. There’s no real cure, there’s no medication that you can take to reverse it. Only thing I can do is intense physical therapy,” said Williams.

Aisha, undaunted and looking to the bright side as usual.

“Bad things happen to people all the time, but there’s always some positive you can find in that,” said Williams.

She says her strength comes from God and her sister who dropped everything in Tennessee to be by her side.

“She stopped her life to come here and take care of me and my kids,” said Williams.

Her extended family at Kream Salon is planning a fundraiser anda GoFundMe has been set up by her family.

“Please, please, please consider donating to this fund to get Aisha back to her passion back to her purpose in life,” said Stone.

She now has some motion in her arms and hands and is hoping a specialized chair and tools will allow her to return to the profession she loves and makes a living with.

“Aisha is wonderful here. She is a part of the team. I refuse to move her station. We’re just waiting for her to return,” Donna Kelser owner of The Kream Salon.

On this Mother’s Day Aisha looks to her mom, an army veteran who instilled in her wisdom that will carry her kids forward, including a son worried about getting his driver’s license to help his mom.

“He said the reason why he wanted to do it is so that he can drive his mother, surprise her, bring her from the hospital, and drive her around with his license,” said Kelser.

“I’m tearing up now, because I tell them you don’t have to be a rock for me it’s not your job,” said Williams.

“I’m a single mother and he’s like I got you, I do, and, it’s just, it’s amazing cause I did something right, I did it right,” said Williams.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend kiss and hug those moms who have touched your life.

If you’d like to help Aisha with her recovery, please donate to her GoFundMe.

We just learned Pauline’s place in Detroit is kind enough to donate a much-needed wheelchair ramp free of charge for when Aisha returns home in two weeks.

Also, Humble Care Transportation in Southfield will install the ramp free of charge.

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