WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Newlyweds Adam Spoerri and Bridget Williquette both got sick on their honeymoon with some type of respiratory virus
- Bridget’s infection went away but Adam was taken to the emergency room because he could not breathe.
- Adam immediately became paralyzed and was admitted to the Respiratory Intensive Care Unit the same day, hooked on life support.
Adam Spoerri and Bridget Williquette got married on July 21, 2018, and went for a road trip for their honeymoon a few days later.
Both newlyweds got sick on that trip with what they thought was just a common respiratory infection. Bridget recovered but Adam’s condition got worse.
On August 5, Adam was taken to the ER of the Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center because he could not breathe. He immediately became paralyzed, affecting his chest, lungs, arms, throat (swallowing muscles), facial muscles, and neck, according to a GoFundMe campaign launched by Bridget’s sister.
Adam was admitted to the Respiratory Intensive Care Unit the same day, hooked on a life support system and tested numerous times. The diagnosis is Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a rare polio-like disease that affects one in a million people in the United States. It affects mostly children.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AFM affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. Researchers still have no clue why the number of people getting affected by AFM increases every year. Patients tested negative for poliovirus.
Adam communicates through writing on paper, as his hands and wrists were not stricken by paralysis. He has been undergoing both physical and occupational therapy on a daily basis and has been making progress. He can now hold his head up on his own.
Patients with AFM will have a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes, according to the CDC website.
Other symptoms include:
- facial droop/weakness,
- difficulty moving the eyes,
- drooping eyelids, or
- difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.