We’ve all played hooky once or twice, right? Even your parents have played hooky before. That’s why they were so skeptical of you when you were doing it. But Michelle Philip was skeptical when her son Alex was really sick. Just hours after being told he didn’t have to go to school because he wasn’t feeling well, he was taken to the hospital.
Eventually, he was diagnosed with transverse myelitis (TM).
According to The Sun, when Alex got out of bed on March 3, 2012, his legs felt weak and he ached. His mom told him he didn’t have to go to school, though she suspected he was playing up the symptoms a bit. Later that day, he couldn’t feel anything in his weakened legs. He was rushed to the hospital where tests revealed that he had transverse myelitis.
TM is a rare neurological disease of unknown cause. The grey and white cells of the spinal column become inflamed. This information frequently causes severe damage to the nerve cells, resulting in pain and loss of motor function.
He was treated. The progression of the TM was stopped at a point where Alex was paralyzed from the chest down. With patience and therapy, he slowly regained the use of his hands and arms.
His desire to get back to playing his Nintendo Wii was a principle driving force. His little brother even taped the controller into Alex’s hands when he was getting closer to being able to hold it.
But Alex’s love of sports did not stop with video games. He loved watching sports on television and playing outside until the sudden inflammation of his spine. While out playing tennis, he was spotted by a Paralympic coach.
This same coach worked with Alex to develop his skills with the racket. Earlier this year, he competed in an event to help develop the next generation of Paralympians.