the journey of a butterfly

khaliah's journey with sjs/ten


Awesome.  Hilarious.  Sassy.  Smart.  Articulate.  Unique.  Lover of life. Those are a few words that come to mind to describe Khaliah.  Once you meet her, you will never forget her!  Since she was a child, Khaliah has had this infectious smile and bubbly personality.  She attracts friends from all walks of life and will do just about anything to help another person.  She loves music, dancing, photography, mac & cheese and anything sparkly!


During the spring of 2013, Khaliah decided it was time for her to lose weight.  Having battled obesity throughout her teen years, she was determined to once and for all get healthy and lose weight.  She changed her eating habits, exercised almost daily and changed her attitude towards food. After losing 80+ pounds by January, she started her own "100 day challenge" to get toned.  About two weeks into her challenge, the unthinkable happened...

Meet Khaliah Monique Shaw


In May 2013, Khaliah graduated from Geogia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA with a BS in Communmity Health. She was accepted into GCSU's Masters program in Health Promotion and began her studies in August 2013. Soon after starting her 2nd semester of grad school, Khaliah became ill after taking the prescription medication Lamictal (Lamotrigine) and was admitted into the hospital on 1/18/14. She had began taking the medication in December 2013. Her doctor increased the dosage over the course of a few weeks and a few days after starting the higher dosage, Khaliah became seriously ill.


On Thursday, 1/16/14, Khaliah went to the ER at Oconee Medical Center in Milledgeville, GA because she was feeling ill. She had a fever, blisters inside her mouth and was fatigued. She was diagnosed with the flu and sent home.  On Saturday, 1/18/14, she woke up covered in a purplish rash and blisters.  She had blisters inside her eyes, mouth, inside her palms and on the bottoms of her feet.  She went back to the ER.  Intially, they had no idea what was wrong with her. They isolated her, thinking she might have some kind of infectious disease. They were not equipped to treat her, so they had her transported to another hospital.


Khaliah was transported to the Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) in Macon. Initially,the doctors were also unsure of her condition.  Many of them had never seen anyone with her symptoms. After being seen by several different physicians in the ER, a dermatologist finally diagnosed her with SJS. She was intubated, given medication to help keep her comfortable, and was taken to the ICU.


MCCG was not equipped to treat SJS, so all they could do was try and keep her comfortable while they tried to find her a spot at a hospital with a burn unit.  Initially, they wanted to send her to Augusta because it was the closest to MCCG, but Khaliah's mom insisted that they find a hospital in Atlanta.  The nurses worked into the night to find her a spot at Grady Hospital's Burn Center in Atlanta.   SJS/TEN patients should be treated in a Burn Center and there were only two in Georgia; Atlanta and Augusta.


Once at Grady, her diagnosis was upgraded to Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), the more severe form of SJS, because more than 30% of her body was affected.  Khaliah lost 85-90% of her skin.  Her face, neck, back and chest were affected the most.  She lost her hair as well as her nails.  She had to have a tracheotomy, had to undergo weeks of hydro-therapy, and was sedated for five weeks.  Her eyes had to be treated by an Opthamologist, as SJS can cause eye problems, including blindness.


After they took her off the sedation medication, she started to have seizures.  The seizures were a result of being heavily sedated for a long period of time and her body was going through withdrawals.  She also had to undergo physical and occupational therapy where she had to re-learn how to sit, stand, walk, feed herself, etc.  


After being in Grady's ICU/Burn Center for seven (7) weeks, Khaliah was finally well enough to go home.  She continues to be seen by a variety of doctors,  specialists, and therapists.  Through God's grace and mercy, she's recovering, but still has a long journey before she returns to her old self.  

Khaliah's Journey

Copyright © 2014-2015.  Khaliah Shaw. All rights reserved.


Graduation day, GCSU - May 2013

Starting the 100-Day Challenge - Jan. 2014

Woke up with blisters and a rash, Jan. 2014