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One day, she was a normal 16-month-old, walking, talking, and playing with her two siblings.

And then, suddenly, she lost all the progress she'd made, and her parents were at a loss to explain why.

Eventually, two-year-old Layla Holt, the daughter of Amy Hibbler-Holt and Christopher Holt, was diagnosed with Anti-MDA receptor encephalitis, a rare brain condition which has had a domino effect on all of her body's normal functions.

"Now she has a feeding tube, has physical therapy, medications," says her mother, Amy. "LeBonheur has become our second home."

Layla can't sit up, walk, talk, or eat on her own.
Amy had to quit her job at Harrah's Casino in Tunica, where she had worked for nine years, to become Layla's full-time caregiver. She also has two other children, ages four and six. They are both healthy.

She has had to learn how to use and clean Layla's feeding tube, turn her so she doesn't get bed sores, manage her long list of medications, and perform physical therapy on the days when the therapist doesn't come.

The family is traveling to the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) later this month for more specialized treatment.

"No one knows what causes this," Amy says. She adds that CHOP has had more experience treating this type of disorder than the local medical community has.

The disease causes a loss of motor skills, as well as low-grade fevers, movement disorders, and epilepsy.
Layla's mother is thankful for the support of her family and her church, Longtown Church of God.

In fact, the church is holding a rummage sale, fish fry, barbeque dinner, and car wash to help with the family's expenses.

The church is located at 7757 Tate-Panola Road in Sarah.
The family will leave Father's Day weekend and drive to Pennsylvania, with several family members coming along to help out.

There is also an account set up at Regions Bank in Senatobia under Amy's name.

For more information on how to help, contact Amy at 662-209-0671.

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