Lisa Smith, TDJC INMATE 650470

Since NMO Diaries started in February we’ve received great support, which has encouraged us to continue sharing.  What we didn’t expect was the outpour from our viewers and the desire to share their stories too.  With every comment, private email and post we’ve shared your struggles, laughter and frustrations.  So thank you and keep them coming.  Last week one of our viewers reached out and after communicating with Michael, we feel we need to share his story.

Michael’s wife, Lisa Smith, has Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO).  Lisa is also prison inmate 650470 at Henley Prison in Dayton, Texas.  She was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica before she was incarcerated.  Her husband describes Lisa as “a kind, loving, caring, God-fearing woman who grew up in a bad neighborhood, succumbed to the temptation of drugs and has been paying for it ever since.  She has never hurt anyone.”  Most NMO patients will tell you how difficult they have found it (or are still finding it) to get the proper medical attention.  Lisa has the added difficulty that knowledgeable medical care isn’t available in prison.  Michael has asked the NMO community to reach out to the Texas government and aid him in educating them on proper NMO care so we can save Lisa’s life.  Some notes on Lisa:

  • She is currently on the Carole Young Medical Unit in Texas City
  • She previously lost the sight in her right eye before she was incarcerated. She was taken to Ben Taub hospital, but they failed to diagnose her and she did not recover her sight.
  • Some time ago after she was sent to the Henley Prison she lost the sight in her left eye. She was taken to Hospital Galveston, which is run by UTMB. They were able to treat her and she regained the sight in the eye. She was sent to Plane State.
  • While at Plane State she lost the use of her body from the waist down, and was sent back to Hospital Galveston.
  • She was treated at Hospital Galveston and was given all of the recognized treatments.She did not respond to treatment. She is currently wheelchair-bound with only limited mobility. She was sent to the Carole Young unit where she was kept in a hospital wing for a while, and then she was sent to a dorm.
  • Once she was sent to the dorm she began to have severe muscle spasms and burning pain in her extremities. The spasms are occurring every five to ten minutes and last for about thirty seconds. They are extremely painful. This has been going on for almost a month.
  • The doctor on the unit will not treat her nor will he send her back to Galveston where the Neurologists can take care of her.
  • There are recognized treatments for the muscle spasms. There is no reason for her tobe going through this pain. She has been enduring this excruciating pain for almost a month and it is wearing her down. Michael fears for both her physical health and her mental health. If she does not get the proper treatment soon, the damage may be irreparable.

Michael has asked the NMO community the following:

“Can you do us a great favor? Can you email these people, and get as many others as you can to email them and let them know you suffer from NMO and that you will help them with advise and however else you can? Your help will go a long ways in showing that I know what I am talking about, and in counteracting anything the doctor says. 

Here are the email addresses of the people to contact: (Rep. Bill Callegari’s staff) (Sen. Dan Patrick’s staff)

and cc: (Lisa’s Parole Attorney)

Please put “Re: Lisa Smith TDCJ #650470″ in the subject line.”

If you have any further questions, please reach out to us at NMO Diaries and we’ll be happy to pass your messages to Michael.


  1. Grace

    This case is heartbreaking and so far there has been no resolution. We have started a Facebook Group in support of Lisa and are willing to help in any way that Michael sees fit. She remains in our thoughts and prayers.


    Comment by Grace on September 29, 2011 at 2:57 am

  2. Michael Christie

    My name is Michael Christie. Lisa Smith is my wife. Since this message was posted in September, nothing has changed. Lisa is still in terrible pain and nothing is being done about it. I continue to fight the battle and am hopeful of finding relief for her.

    I have written letters to everyone I can find to write to, but I have received no help yet. The only people who have given me support are Gracie, Christine and you members of the NMO community. Without your support I think I would have dispaired by now.

    I thank one and all from the bottom of my heart. God Bless. Michael

    I have not heard from Gracie in a while. Does anyone know what is happening with her? The last message I got from her she said she was having breakthrough events, so maybe she is back in the hospital?

    Comment by Michael Christie on November 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm

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