Rare Disease Temporarily Paralyzes 8-Year-Old
GROSSE ILE (WWJ) – An eight-year-old Grosse Ile boy is re-learning to walk after he was paralyzed by a rare disease. WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports…it can start with something simple as a cold.
Yvette Johnson wasn’t concerned when her 8-year-old son Landon fell ill with what seemed to be a common childhood illness — but it was soon obvious that this was something different.
“Right after he was diagnosed with pneumonia I was rubbing his legs and he said, ‘ouch, that hurts,’ and when I touched the bottom of his feet it was hyper-sensitive. That was probably the start of it all, when it started affecting his spine” said Yvette Johnson.
Landon’s doctor says he developed Transverse Myelitis … a condition where the antibodies produced to fight one illness … even the common cold, turn on the body and attack the spine. Landon was paralyzed.
“He couldn’t walk, he had trouble moving his legs … simple things like moving his toes … he was really struggling with moving his toes,” said Yvette.
In one-third of the cases, that condition is permanent, but Landon’s prognosis is good. Still, it’s a long recovery.
“I can’t run, I can’t do jumping jacks, most of all I can’t even swim yet,” said Landon. “Let’s just say I miss my Wii, my DS, my computer and my bed.”
There are several severe cases of the disease which come to the Children’s Hospital each year.