Two 10-year-olds tackle PANDAS together


Lucas Murdock is a fourth grader who loves to play baseball and football. One day, he got strep throat, a very common infection in children; however, after completing his antibiotics, Lucas started to experience certain symptoms.

“He had a lot of anger, a lot of regression, a lot of OCD, a lot of anxiety,” said Laura Murdock, Lucas’ mom. “He was making thoughts that didn’t make sense, he was getting upset about things that he would never get upset about before.”

Laura was at a complete loss as to why this was happening to her son. “So we went to the therapist, we have been diagnosed with ADD, ODD,” she said. “We’ve been diagnosed with a lot of disorders, mental disorders, and nothing seemed to be working.”

And that’s when Lucas was diagnosed with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus, or PANDAS. A disorder in which a child’s immune system mistakes the host’s cells for the strep bacteria, specifically around the brain, causing symptoms such as what Lucas was experiencing.

“Lucas was playing football at the time. He could no longer play football,” said Laura. “Which was very devastating for him cause he loved football; he loves baseball.”

Even though Lucas had to stop playing football, his team still supported him. In fact, after learning of Lucas’ diagnosis, another mother on the team started to rethink of her own son’s diagnosis.

“So I gave her all the information that I possibly could, and she went to a neurologist, they did multiple blood tests, along with the clinical symptoms, they were also diagnosed with PANDAS,” said Laura.

Lucas will be going to Annapolis to speak with Maryland PANDAS Support and HB15, which would mandate insurers to help cover the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of PANDAS and similar disorders.

Click here to help support Lucas and his service dog. 

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