Matt Reisig’s condition has now stabilized, according to doctors. (Submitted photo)

B.C. father paralyzed after apparent flu has regained some movement, recovery continues

Matt Reisig has begun to slowly regain movement in parts of his body.

An Aldergrove man who was paralyzed from the onset of a rare, neurological condition after battling what is suspected to be the flu has now regained some movement.

Matt Reisig was rushed to Peace Arch Hospital on March 1, after tingling in his legs progressed to a complete collapse onto the floor.

Initially, it seemed that 31-year-old Reisig “had the flu just like the rest of his family,” said Cara Parks, an aunt of the family.

Upon arrival at the ER, however, Reisig was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).

In the following two weeks, Reisig lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder, and face movements including nodding, eye rolling, and side-to-side head motions which he used to communicate with his wife, Ashley.

Reisig also had to be intubated in order to breathe because of lost pulmonary function.

READ MORE: Young father fights for his life after the flu leads to paralyzing disease

On Sunday, Matt underwent a tracheostomy procedure at Surrey Memorial Hospital in order to hopefully shorten the duration of mechanical ventilation.

“He’s trying to mouth words to me but his mouth is a little weak, since it’s had a tube in it for over three weeks. His jaw is shaky as he re-teaches it to open and close,” Ashley explained.

She has been by his side the entire time in hospital, with their one-year-old daughter Ayla.

The young father is now in “stable” condition, according to doctors, and during one assessment with a nurse on March 25, Reisig was able to move his forearm. A day earlier, on March 24, his wife reported that he was even able to move his hand.

“Matt can feel a different back muscle and he can lift his head up off of his pillow. He’s also started feeling tingling pain in his hands and feet… it can mean that the nerves are starting to regenerate so I’m hoping that’s the case,” Ashley said.

Reisig’s progress, albeit small, is a sign of hope for the family – who wants to raise awareness about GBS – a mysterious inflammatory disorder where the immune system attacks myelin sheath surrounding nerve cell axons instead of the virus the body is sick with, according to Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Such nerve damage inhibits Reisig’s muscles from being able to carry out their normal functions.

“Matt doesn’t feel better yet but he trusts me when I tell him that I can see improvements,” Ashley told the Aldergrove Star. “Now that I see improvements I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

GBS is said to cause adverse effects until the disease peaks at up to four weeks, before plateauing, according to Parks. Reisig is currently at the beginning of week five.

There is no known cause for the condition.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘We just have to keep going’: Smaller weddings with bigger hearts ahead as weddings adapt to COVID-19

A struggling hospitality industry wary but hopeful of future amid industry-shaking changes

Sumas First Nation pilots eight-inch gill-net fishery in Sumas/Vedder River

Project in Abbotsford renews fishing practice and data gathering of chinook salmon

Chilliwack home built in 1910 will be saved from demolition

The 110-year-old house on Hope River Road is being relocated to nearby Riverside Drive

TRAFFIC: Possible injuries in reported crash near Popkum

Drivers advised to avoid the roundabout between Agassiz and Popkum

Police watchdog investigating after Abbotsford man seriously injured during arrest

Abbotsford police used ‘less lethal firearm’ and dog in arrest of man believed to have gun

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

B.C. announces funding to support post-secondary students with disabilities

The province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read