Education / Schools, Hair, Health Care / Medicine, Weirdness

A Pre-Law Student’s Worst Nightmare: A Medical Mystery Reminiscent of the ‘Hairy Hand’ Case

Remember back in your first year of law school when you learned about Hawkins v. McGee, aka the “hairy hand” case? Students were supposed to learn about damages, but most were pretty disgusted by the fact that the palm of the plaintiff’s hand looked like it belonged to a Wookiee.

Today, we’ve learned about a pre-law student who seems to be trapped in a continuous loop of House. Her medical mystery definitely reminded us of the “hairy hand” case, except here, this woman doesn’t have a hairy hand. In fact, she doesn’t have any hair at all. Instead of hair, FINGERNAILS are now growing out of the hair follicles all over her body.

Let’s find out more about this unfortunate woman’s hair-raising experience….

In 2009, Shanyna A. Isom was in her junior year at the University of Memphis studying criminal justice. (Many mainstream media outlets reported that Isom was a law student at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, but WMC TV had the facts right in its original report on this tragic story.)

As it turns out, Isom had an allergic reaction to steroids she was given for an asthma attack, and shortly thereafter, she was afflicted with a debilitating skin disease. Doctors far and wide have absolutely no idea what’s wrong with her, but experts at Johns Hopkins Medical Center are slowing the progress of her symptoms. She’s only person in the world to have ever been diagnosed with this disease.

Check out this video coverage from WMC TV:

According to ABC News, Isom has hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills. All of her savings have dried up, but this enterprising pre-law student has created the S.A.I. Foundation to raise money for her treatment and to help others suffering from unknown illnesses. Bank of America has agreed to accept donations made on her behalf at their branch offices.

We wish Isom the best of luck in her recovery. If she decides to continue on to law school in the future, we’ve got just one question for her: when are you filing the medical malpractice lawsuit?!

Mystery illness causes woman to grow fingernails in place of hair [WMC TV]
Woman’s Hair Turns to Black Fingernails, Baffling Her Doctors [ABC News]

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