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A Boy Suffering Chronic Pain for 3 Years Finally Receives Correct Diagnosis from ChatGPT

The young boy dealt with chronic pain for years, forcing his mother to take him to see 17 specialists, none of whom could diagnose him

A mother has revealed how her son's three years of chronic pain and countless visits to medical specialists was finally solved after her prompts in ChatGPT unearthed the correct diagnosis.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, as reported by Today, Courtney, who didn't reveal her last name, purchased a bounce house to keep her young children entertained. Shortly after, her then-4-year-old son, Alex, began experiencing pain, with the family nanny informing Courtney, “I have to give [Alex] Motrin every day, or he has these gigantic meltdowns,” according to the outlet.

Courtney reportedly first took her son to the dentist when he started chewing things, with his parents concerned he was having issues with his molars or cavities.

<p>Didem Mente/Anadolu Agency via Getty</p>

Didem Mente/Anadolu Agency via Getty

This dentist appointment kicked off three years of visits with 17 different doctors in all manner of specialty fields.

Related: Mom Noticed Her Toddler Was Acting Strange. Days Later, She Found Out It Was Stage 4 Cancer (Exclusive)

<p>Getty</p> A mother who could not find a medical diagnosis for her son's (not pictured) chronic pain finally found the answer by using ChatGPT.

Getty

A mother who could not find a medical diagnosis for her son's (not pictured) chronic pain finally found the answer by using ChatGPT.

“Our sweet personality ... (child) is dissolving into this tantrum-ing crazy person that didn’t exist the rest of the time,” Courtney told Today.

The dentist suggested Alex see an orthodontist specializing in airway obstruction. While the orthodontist identified that Alex’s palate was too small for his mouth, making it tougher for him to breathe at night, the expander she placed in his palate only helped briefly.

“Everything was better for a little bit,” Courtney remembered. “We thought we were in the home stretch.”

A short time later, Courtney noticed her son had stopped growing. They reportedly visited a pediatrician, who suggested the pandemic had impacted Alex's growth, referring him to physical therapy due to imbalances between his left and right sides.

Around the time he was due to start physical therapy, Alex had been experiencing headaches, with a visit to a neurologist determining the youngster had migraines. He also saw an ear, nose, and throat specialist to see if his sleep problems were due to his sinus cavities.


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“We saw so many doctors. We ended up in the ER at one point. I kept pushing,” Courtney told the outlet.

“Nobody’s willing to solve for the greater problem,” she added. “Nobody will even give you a clue about what the diagnosis could be.”

Frustrated Courtney was at the end of her rope when she said she made an account with the AI-powered bot program ChatGPT to share her son's symptoms and the information she had gathered from his prior magnetic resonance imaging.

“I went line by line of everything that was in his (MRI notes) and plugged it into ChatGPT,” she said. “I put the note in there about ... how he wouldn’t sit crisscross applesauce. To me, that was a huge trigger (that) a structural thing could be wrong.”

When ChatGPT suggested Alex was suffering from tethered cord syndrome, "it made a lot of sense," his mother admitted.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurologic disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column. These attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord.

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With this information provided by ChatGPT, Courtney found a Facebook group for families of children with tethered cord syndrome and was able to schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon who examined Alex's MRI images and knew exactly what was wrong.

“She said point blank, ‘Here’s occula spinal bifida, and here’s where the spine is tethered,' ” Courtney recalled.

When Alex was finally diagnosed, Courtney said she experienced "every emotion in the book, relief, validated, excitement for his future."

Following his diagnosis, Alex underwent surgery to fix his tethered cord syndrome, and while he is still recovering, Courtney said sharing his story may help other parents facing similar struggles, insisting that “you have to be your kid’s advocate.”

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