After COVID diagnosis, nurse contracts rare disease that leaves him paralyzed


  • A nurse, Desmon Silva, contracted a rare disease after testing positive for the coronavirus summer last year.
  • The rare disease left him paralyzed from the neck down.
  • After months in the hospital, he was finally discharged and was able to fly home to continue his recovery.

Last summer, 22-year-old nurse Desmon Silva contracted COVID-19 while working at the frontlines of a hospital in Tampa, Florida. He was placed on a ventilator on July 16 when he stopped breathing. According to a GoFundMe to cover his medical expenses, he then became paralyzed from the neck down.

Desmon was also diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis two months after testing positive for COVID-19. The rare disease is usually contracted following a viral infection and affects the nervous system.

After months of treatment in the Boston area, Desmon was finally discharged and was able to fly to continue his recovery at home via Jet ICU on Monday. Jet ICU is a company that takes private aircrafts, fits them with equipment needed for various patients, and uses them as flying ICUs. The company, based in Desmon’s hometown, usually charges $25,000 for their services, flew Desmon home free of charge.

Jet ICU’s director of Emergency Medical Services, Jared Wayt, told Boston 25 that Desmon’s case was “extra special” because they were able to “take care of one of our own.”

His GoFundMe page says that it’s still not clear at this time if Desmon’s paralysis is permanent or temporary. Still, he’s making progress.

A January update shared on the page said that Desmon is safely being weaned off some of his meds and he’s now able to sit on the edge of his bed with some assistance.

Though he still has a long way to go, “Desmon remains full of life” and they’re “eliminating one obstacle at a time” to give him the best chance at recovery.

Source: PEOPLE

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