Nolan Nachreiner, a happy-go-lucky, healthy 2-year-old from Indiana was active like any other toddler his age. However, within the span of a few hours on January 30, Nolan went from being a fully healthy toddler to a quadriplegic who could barely move a finger. The transformation initially baffled doctors treating him. However, it later became clear that Nolan was affected by a rare, one-in-a-million condition that was caused by a viral infection that affected his spinal cord.
According to a report by KHON 2 News, it all started on January 30 earlier this year when the 2-year-old’s, as well as his parent’s, life turned upside down. Nolan’s father Eric Nachreiner recalls the day his son’s life changed forever.
“We gave him some milk in a sippy cup like we always do and we noticed he had some issues trying to grasp the cup.”
Within minutes, they noticed that Nolan was unable to stand by himself. Sometime later, the toddler was unable to even sit without falling over. Sensing something serious, the parents rushed Nolan to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where Nolan was kept in the Intensive Care Unit. While doctors were baffled as to what had caused the toddler to go from being fully healthy to a quadriplegic within hours, a thorough examination by Dr. Kavita Thakkar and her team from the hospital revealed that Nolan was afflicted by a rare condition called transverse myelitis. Dr. Kavita explained to the parents that transverse myelitis is so rare that the chances of getting it are one in a million.
According to doctors, Nolan was infected by a virus which prompted a response from his immune system. However, for some reason, instead of attacking the virus that attacked him, his body attacked his own spinal cord. According to Nolan’s parents, their son spent “several grueling days” in the ICU where he was administered the best treatment possible. The toddler had to endure countless MRIs, fevers, and other complications. After his condition normalized, Nolan was taken to The Children Institute of Pittsburgh where he is undergoing physical and occupational therapy in an attempt to help him regain his strength. He has already made progress. According to doctors, Nolan is now able to control the movement of his head and shoulders.
“Nolan has worked hard to regain control of his head and neck muscles and is beginning to regain active movement in his shoulders. He is also exhibiting signs of sensation in his right arm. He has an amazing support network of friends, family and therapists who are rooting for his success.”
Life has been difficult for Nolan’s parents who say the toddler required round-the-clock attention. Doctors have said that the family would be able to take Nolan home next month at around the same time his mother Jennifer is expected to deliver another baby.
“If I think about what life was like three months ago or if I think what about life will be like three months, three years from now, it’s too overwhelming,” Jennifer said. “So what works today, works today, and that’s how we have to move forward.”
The treatment for the condition that Nolan suffers from is long and unpredictable. While several patients have recovered completely after suffering from the condition, many others have not. In fact, more than 33 percent of people that get affected by the condition never recover completely. Nolan’s family is, however, optimistic about the toddler’s recovery.
“The prognosis for recovering active movement and sensation is unknown, but we will never lose hope in our sweet and sassy boy. He has such a great deal to offer this world, and we will work tirelessly to see to it that he has every opportunity to make his mark.” a family member posted on Nolan’s Facebook page.
We wish Nolan a smooth path to a complete recovery.
[Image Via Facebook]