DAVIDSON, N.C. —
The Davidson community is rallying around a police officer who's been sidelined by a mysterious medical condition that's put her in the emergency room and baffled medical experts.
"I'm laying in the bed in the back of the ambulance looking at my hands turning blue, thinking I'm dying, and no one knows what's wrong with me," said Sgt. Cindy Smith.
Smith is one of Davidson's finest, but she's seen better days.
"That Friday night, my right leg went totally numb, and it literally felt like it was on fire," she said.
Smith's first trip to the ER was at the beginning of November. She thought she had the flu.
"Felt like I had been hit by a truck," said Smith. "Legs were achy; back was achy."
The results came back negative, and her condition got worse. For weeks, she said doctors didn't know what was going on. It was a medical mystery.
"I couldn't move my arms and couldn't move my legs from the knees down," said Smith. "They thought maybe it was Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever," Smith said.
"What's going through your head?" asked NBC Charlotte's Xavier Walton.
"I'm scared. I don't know what's going on with me. My hands literally started turning blue," said Smith.
After two months of tests, treatments, and CT scans, doctors determined Smith has a form of vasculitis. Doctors said the disease started attacking her immune and nervous system.
"Several months later, does that take an emotional toll on you at all?" asked Walton.
"It did at first, but I just looked at it as it's something I'm going to get through and I'm going to come back stronger," Smith said.
Smith will return to work next week on light duty. In the meantime, she'll continue physical therapy until she is 100 percent.