Monica Bernal is a 17-year-old girl looking forward to starting her senior year of high school this month. However, a diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) has derailed her.

For the time being, Bernal is being treating as a burn patient at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland after she started to suffer from a severe adverse reaction to a prescription medication she was taking. Since suffering from her reaction, Bernal has been diagnosed with SJS. This condition is caused when patients taking prescription medications suffer from an allergic reaction to it. Most of the time, the condition affects children and young adults.

For Bernal, it was her seizure medication that caused the reaction. The girl was taking a prescription medication for her seizures, says relative Dorothy Kelsey. Her condition caused her to visit two hospitals before she was transferred to Portland on July 22.

“Stevens-Johnson syndrome is so rare that, I believe, only 300 cases a year are reported in the United States,” Kelsey says. “She’s definitely going to be in the hospital for several weeks, and it all started with her seizure medication — something that was supposed to make her better.”

Because of Bernal’s condition, her friends and relatives have decided to throw a fundraising car wash at Carlson’s Umatilla Drug as a way of helping the family pay for her medical expenses. The teen’s cousin, David Bernal, is among those helping with the fundraiser.

“This is friends and family getting together to help her and her family,” he said. “Anything anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.”

The family will be hosting another fundraiser — this one a yard sale — in the coming weeks. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with SJS, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting SJS lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.