She is unable to speak or even eat.
Once a healthy size 14, Lilian Rennalls has lost so much weight she is now a size four and weighs only 82 pounds.
“It’s hard to see her deteriorate like that,” explained her daughter, Heather Rennalls.
Lilian Rennall’s diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007 has left the former registered nurse unable to use the muscles of her throat.
Lilian communicates by writing and uses a gastrojejunal (GJ) tube for feeding.
Her daughter inserts food into the tube using a syringe.
“It’s frustrating,” Rennalls said. “Everything I do for her is what she used to do for other people.”
Rennalls, who has taken a six-month leave of absence from work to care for her mother, is currently in the Barbados with her mother visiting family.
She said her mother first noticed something was wrong when she began slurring her words and noticed her instep was off.
She was referred to a neurologist in Feb. 2007, and diagnosed later that year.
Soon after, Lilian moved in with her daughter, who lives in Oxford County, to be closer to the ALS clinic in London.
While Lilian can still breath on her own, by the summer of 2007 she had completely lost her voice.