When Novak was a teenager, her mother, Charmaine Swartz, underwent a surgical procedure. After the surgery, she contracted a bacterial infection, which most likely triggered the onset of Guillian-Barre syndrome. This syndrome left Swartz temporarily paralyzed and her daughter upset as she had to endure her mother re-learning how to take her first step.
|Schwann cells wrapped around the axon of a neuron|
Like most victims of Guillain-Barre syndrome, Swartz did make a full recovery. Although a complete recovery could take weeks to years. Often people who have had this syndrome often still experience muscle fatigue even three years after onset. Although most people do recover from this syndrome, there are only treatments for it and no cure. Some treatment strategies include removing antibodies from the blood or blocking antibodies with high doses of immunoglobin.