Four years ago out of the blue, our family friend and Encinitas local Paul Langhorn contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome. For those of you who do not know what GBS is, it’s an autoimmune disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system, usually triggered by an acute infectious process. It is frequently severe and usually exhibits as an ascending paralysis noted by weakness in the legs that spreads to the upper limbs and the face along with complete loss of deep tendon reflexes. GBS is rare and has an incidence of 1 or 2 people per 100,000, but still is one of the leading causes of non-trauma-induced paralysis in the world.

Paul is now in need of a new wheelchair to help with his rehabilitation and comfort, and I can’t think of a better and more deserving person. My Mother-in-Law Linda Inskeep forwarded the original thread below with the note from Paul. Please find time to read through and remember anything helps!

When I think of “courage”, my friend and neighbor Paul quickly comes to mind.  He was stricken with Guillian Barre Syndrome almost four years ago and is now confined to a wheelchair.  As Paul recalls, in a matter of hours he went from being a normal, healthy guy living the good life in San Francisco to complete paralysis. He was hospitalized and on a ventilator for months.  The journey back has been long and slow.  And yet, Paul is full of determination and optimistic about his recovery. He has a great sense of humor and humbly accepts life as it is without anger or self pity.  Paul and his family have been very supportive of me as well and I am thankful for their friendship.

Now Paul needs our help to purchase a new wheelchair.  Please read the attached information he prepared for “Bay Street Helping Hands” and give whatever you can.

“First off, I want to thank you for the support you have given me since I got Guillain-Barre Syndrome in November 2006. Your contributions and messages of encouragement  have been an incredible help with my recovery.

My muscles are slowly coming back and I can do a little more each day.  A problem I am having is that the muscles aren’t coming back evenly.  For instance, my back muscles are much stronger than those in my abdomen, causing my back to arch (lordosis).  I will not be able to walk until this is corrected.

Currently, I am raising funds for a new power chair that is designed to correct the arch.  The chair costs $40,000, most of which is covered by insurance.  My share is $4,300.  Any financial assistance towards this would be of great help… Thank-you, Paulie.”

Please make donations out to “Bay Street Helping Hands”, 101 Townwood Way, Encinitas CA 92024.


  1. Donald,

    One of my best friends contracted GBS a little over 5 years ago. He spent nearly 6 months in the ICU, with symptoms that were originally diagnosed as a stroke, before GBS was properly diagnosed. You’re right, it’s a very rare disease that took some time to properly diagnose.
    I’m happy to say that he has made a remarkable recovery, and is back to work, and able to hold his daughter, who was only 6 months when he was striken with GBS.
    I’ve made a small donation. Hopefully your friend can make positive recovery.

    Best of Luck


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