Growing fingernails in hair follicles may sound like an impossible medical condition dreamed up for a graphic horror story by someone like Clive Barker. But for one Maryland woman, it's a tragic, painful, and expensive reality.
Shanyna Isom has a condition that her doctor, who's practiced medicine for more than 30 years, has never seen or heard of before. To date, there is no diagnosis and no cure for the mystery illness, and it has caused her to rack up more than $1 million worth of medical expenses.
That number continues to grow exponentially, too. When we first told you about the fingernails in follicles condition back in 2012, Shanyna had already incurred $250,000 of debt trying to treat the condition.
But the medicated pads that keep her alive alone cost $25,000 per month, and even though people like Anderson Cooper, the popular TV broadcast personality, have donated heavily to help pay the expenses, it's just not enough to stay out in front of it.
Treatments over the past four years have been administered by doctors and medical researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Through intensive treatment, they have managed to remove the hard, spiny growths from the follicles on Isom's head, but she continues to suffer with the condition on other parts of her body, such as the back and shoulders.
For a more detailed look at what the condition looks like, check out our gallery here (with a hat tip to KPHO). This will be graphic to some of you, particularly near the end, so be advised.
Shanyna Isom started to exhibit symptoms for this condition as the result of an allergic reaction. Following an asthma attack in 2009, she was given a steroid that caused the first signs of the mystery illness to develop.
To help Isom make medical payments, an ongoing GoFundMe page has been established here.