Saving Her Son From PANDAS

When her son started exhibiting sudden and disturbing psychiatric symptoms, Heather Korbmacher had no idea that everything was about to change for her family.

Currently, thousands of parents are confounded and distressed by a dizzying and horrifying array of symptoms caused by an outcropping of neuropsychiatric disorders caused by pathogens. There are many infectious agents that can create severe neural inflammation and autoimmunity to the brain, and in Heather’s son’s case, it was a common childhood infection: strep.

Heather’s experience was often terrifying and lonely, and it was only her fierce determination that enabled her to get her son well. She had to ignore what many professionals were telling her (that her son was mentally ill), find the cause and the help they needed to address a condition that is not uncommon but grossly misunderstood, ignored, and sometimes outright denied. After completing and succeeding in her harrowing mission, Heather wrote a book to do all she can to make sure others can find the answers and the help they desperately need.

This book is not a clinical guide, but just as importantly (and perhaps moreso), it is a mother’s account of what she did to recover her son. It is an exceptional resource and inspiration for clinicians and parents, alike.



I had the honour and privilege of both editing the book and writing one of the two forewords. Here is what I wrote:

“When I sat down to read Heather Korbmacher’s book What Happened to My Child?, a riveting account of the author’s son’s intense struggle with PANDAS/PANS/AE and her heroic journey to heal him, I didn’t stop until I was finished.  I was educated by her medical explanations; I was moved by the pain her experiences caused her; I was inspired by the fact that, although she never knew what to expect, she got up every day to face whatever was to come.  I call Heather a hero, but she would tell you that she just did what she had to do, what she chose to do, that the word that would best describe her would be mom.

What Happened to My Child? is a book about hope, strength, and determination; and it is also about the pain, fear, worry, and exhaustion that is inevitable when our children get sick, struggles that are all part of the healing process.  It is about those pivotal moments that show us parents in no uncertain terms that nothing you have imagined for your life or for the lives of your children will ever go perfectly as planned; we just find it within ourselves to handle whatever life throws our way.  It is how one mother simultaneously hung on with formidable grip and focused with unwavering vision, while at the same time, had to let go of what she had foreseen as the perfect life, to let go of what her family’s future, their focus, their everyday existence was going to be.  Not stopping there, however, we readers get to witness how their family then transcends the new expectations that could have come out of their devastating difficulties.

Heather Korbmacher is no victim: she is a revolutionary mama who would not give up, who knew there were answers even when no one solution was the panacea or cure, even when doctors and practitioners could not or would not help, even when she was told that PANDAS/PANS/AE did not exist, even when various therapies did nothing or made things worse.  This book is not only about strength, it goes beyond that: it is about love, hope, and recovery. It is an essential message every mother or father with a child who has serious health challenges needs to read and take, not only to heart, but also to spirit.

Heather’s story is about making it through the storm, adjusting to an ever-changing new normal, and then recreating yet another normal as they continue to reclaim their son’s health, to reclaim their family life, and take the power into their own hands to create a brighter future for their own family and for other families like theirs. A phoenix rising from the ashes.”

~ Carla Atherton, MA, FDN, TNC, Director of  The Healthy Family Formula, Certified Yoga Instructor, Epidemic Answers Certified Health Coach, Host of the bi-annual Children’s and Teen Health Summit, Children’s Health Advocate, and Revolutionary Mama

Do help to keep the momentum of this movement to inform going! Here are some action steps you can take:

(1) Watch and share the trailer
(2) Write a book review on Amazon
(3) Give a book to a pediatric provider or legislator

As Heather, says: “Believe! Together we make a difference!”

Damn right, we do!

Buy the book on Amazon

Listen to an extremely informative interview I did with Heather years before this book was born.

If you suspect your child has PANDAS/PANS/AE or a related condition and would like some support, information, answers, do schedule a complimentary Meet and Greet Session with me.

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