Baby Lilly-ann fighting horrible virus attacking her brain

The Hoffman family gave us an update today on sweet baby Lilly-ann Hoffman, of Devine, who is battling a horrible virus that has attacked her brain leaving several lesions on her brain as well as paralysis of her left side. She has been in Methodist ICU for a week, and will remain there at least another week on a ventilator, possibly a month from what doctors are saying.

“She turned six months old yesterday, on the day of her surgery. They drained fluid from her brain and also collected a tissue sample to see what we are fighting,” said mother Bridgett. “So far she has been diagnosed with Rihnovirus and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which is a rare and rapidly developing illness with neurological symptoms caused by viruses. An MRI found 3 lesions on her brain. Because of the ADEM, her body is attacking her brain, and because of this, she also has paralysis of the left side and she cannot swallow.”

“ADEM is caused by a virus, and they just haven’t yet figured out why her antibodies are attacking her brain,” Bridgett adds. “They have now put a catheter into her neck which is removing her plasma, cleaning it, and then putting it back into her body. This is to filter out all the bad antibodies that are attacking her brain. They still are not sure what has caused all of this to happen. They are also doing a deep suctioning of her lungs every four hours because she also had gotten an infection in her lungs.  She is a fighter and she gives the doctors and nurses a run for their money!  Her daddy and I owe everyone at Methodist children’s hospital our lives they are absolutely amazing. They truly are super heroes!”

Lilly-ann Hoffman has been in the ICU for a week.
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Lilly-ann has regained some movement in her arm but still nothing in her leg. Unfortunately the paralysis can be permanent. She has been in the hospital for 7 days now and still has at least 7 more days to go on the treatment she is undergoing now.

Bridgett shared a little more about the background of Lilly-ann’s case and how it all started. She first noticed her getting sick about three weeks ago,

“Lilly-ann had been sick for about a week when we took her to the pediatrician. We were told she had a viral infection that she was almost over and that she would be fine,” Bridgett said. “Another week went by and she wasn’t any better so we decided to take her back to the pediatrician, this time she did a strep test and flu test which both came back negative. So the same day she wants us to kids express at Methodist children’s hospital to have some blood work done for a viral panel. Everything came back negative but at this point Lilly couldn’t swallow anything and was refusing to take a bottle. I took her back to her pediatrician for the third time and I asked if they could please run a respiratory viral panel to which she told me ‘they are expensive and unnecessary.’ So we decided to bring her back to Methodist children’s on April 9, 2020  because she was getting a little dehydrated. They ran the RVIP and she did test positive for On April 13, 2020 she had a Seizure and stopped breathing for a short period of time once they got the seizure under control they put in a breathing tube just to help her breathe because the meds slow her breathing. They did another MRI and found out the ADEM had progressed to 2 more spots on her brain and one of the original spots got worse causing more tissue break down. April 14, 2020 they did a craniotomy to drain some fluid and got a tissue sample to see what we are trying to fight against. They also put in a Quinton catheter so they could do Apheresis for the next 5 days to see if that will help.”

The family is keeping a hotel room at a nearby hotel, so that they can be close to the hospital in the even that anything major happens. Due to the COVID pandemic, there are very strict restrictions on who can visit the hospital.

“On the adults side, they aren’t allowing any visitors at all. Thankfully, we are allowed to have one person with Lilly-ann on the children’s side. I cannot imagine what it would be like not being able to be here with her,” Bridgett said.

Lilly-Ann is the daughter of Malcome Hoffman and mother Bridgett Keith, and the granddaughter of Shannon Brown Theresa Eng, and David Keith Kevin Hoffman.  Both mom and dad attended school in Devine for many years, and Malcome graduated from Devine High School in 2009. Locals might also recognize him from the HEB gas station in Lytle where he works.

How we can help

If you would like to mail a donation, you can address it to Malcome Hoffman PO Box 74 in Natalia, TX 78059.

If you would like to donate online, a Go Fund Me account has been set up for the family. The Go Fund me will be used for special therapy or equipment that Lilly-ann may need when she is discharged from the hospital.

You may also contact mom by email at if you’d like to offer prayers, support during this difficult time. You can also message Bridgett Keith on Facebook.

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