Imagine watching your healthy son play in the backyard one minute and then finding out that he had become paralyzed only hours later. That is exactly what happened to one Irish mother who is now hoping to give her son as much of a normal life as he can get.
Eileen Goulding was watching her 2-year-old son, Billy, play with his older cousin and sister. Suddenly, and without any influence, he collapsed.
Goulding ran over to him quickly and noticed that his face was turning red and his temperature was rising. His limp arms and rolling head prompted her to call emergency services.
He was rushed to a hospital in Limerick, but it was too late to prevent permanent damage. Only five hours after his collapse, Billy was paralyzed from the chin down. “At first the doctors didn’t really understand what was going on. I was told it could be cancer, a stroke or Transverse Myelitis (TM),” Goulding told Independent.
None of those options were positive but doctors told the mom to hope that it was TM because the other two would probably cost Billy his life. For better or worse, he was diagnosed with TM shortly thereafter.
TM is an inflammation in both sides of one section of the spinal cord. The neurological disorder can cause damage to the insulating material covering nerve cell fibers called myelin.
In Billy’s case, it was prompted by an underlying illness. “He had picked up a virus which didn’t make him sick but his system created antibodies to kill it. But then the antibodies began attacking Billy,” his mom explained.
Since then, there hasn’t been a lot that doctors have been able to do to help little Billy. The specific procedure he needs cannot be preformed in Ireland but his parents are hoping to give him as much of a chance as they can.
“He has a one in a million condition so it’s hard to get the help he needs over here. We just don’t have the resources,” his mom said.
With a lot of work, and help from funds donated through Billy’s GoFundMe page, she was able to take him to London where Billy is now getting the treatment he deserves. There is hope yet.
“He has feeling in his body but we’re hoping the treatment will allow him the use of his arm. He can move his left arm slightly as it is but the treatment could improve it even further,” she noted.
“I just want him to be able to have some sort of independence, some sort of quality of life. If he could use even one arm he’d be able to use a wheelchair.”
No one can really understand what the Gouldings are going through, but we are all hoping that Billy can pull through and gain some freedom and mobility.
His mom said that after everything he has gone through, him being able to use a wheelchair would feel like winning the lottery. Here’s to hoping and praying that this brave little boy reaches that goal and more.
SHARE this wit your friends on facebook!