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Milwaukee man recovering from rare polio-like virus

Posted: 6:30 PM, Dec 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-03 00:30:03Z

A rare polio-like disease is affecting more people around the country, in fact there are six cases in Wisconsin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of November 2018, there are 116 confirmed cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) across 31 states. Studies on the disease began to ramp up in 2014 though the CDC, thus, not enough definitive information is available. 

TODAY'S TMJ4 spoke with Adam and Bridget Sporrie back in October. Adam Sporrie is slowly recovering from the illness, he began suffering from AFM back in August. Sporrie became paralyzed from the waist up, so talking and breathing were incredibly difficult at first. His wife Bridget, always by his bedside, says each day brings new hope.

"In the last month or so, Adam has regained motion in his left arm, he can now stand and walk in therapy without his neck brace," says Sporrie. 

CDC finds the illness is rare and affects the nervous system. Of the 116 cases, more than 90% percent of them are children. Sporrie says it is hard for them to deal with this illness since Adam is an adult, but it has connected then with a lot of parents going through some of the same things.

"You can't really get a better support group than the parents on the AFM Facebook Group. They, they're angles, and any problem that we have, we can go onto the boards. Share what we're going through and say 'Is this symptom normal?' " says Sporrie. 

Sporrie says there is no set recovery time for AFM, and while his strength is returning, the couple wants more answers. But unfortunately there hasn't been enough research and she says that needes to change.  

"AFM is really rare but that doesn't mean you shouldn't know what to look for," says Sporrie. 

For more detailed information about Acute Flaccid Myelitis click here