There’s always so much going on when it comes to the way the world works. And lately, it’s hard not to feel hopeless with everything that has been happening. However, 2-year-old Alaric Bridgeman’s story is one of hope, reminding us that miracles are just as possible and evident in life as everything else.
Alaric is miraculously and finally able to walk after fighting a condition that left him paralyzed. In December 2020, the young boy was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cords. His parents Dustin Bridgeman and Sarah Newell told Good Morning America that Alaric had suddenly been complaining about one of his back muscles. He was completely mobile at the time, but after visiting the chiropractor and local emergency room, he couldn’t stand up or move his limbs. Dustin explained what he told the hospital staff, saying, “I said, ‘I think he might have that children’s COVID they’re taking about,’ I lifted his leg and it fell down. I said, ‘Look. He’s paralyzed.’ I could see the fear in her eyes.”
Small But Mighty 2-Year-Old Walking After Being Paralyzed
He and Sarah were then told that baby Alaric was going to be taken to Akron Children’s Hospital to see a neurologist. And by the time he was taken to the hospital, the poor kid was completely paralyzed. Dusting said, “I’ll have to say, out of my whole life, this is the one time I was lost. Both of us, we were lost. We didn’t know what to do.”
Doctors tested the little boy for COVID because of the pandemic, which turned out to be negative. However, they did say that there was a possibility that the virus could’ve caused the rare inflammatory disease, and Alaric started receiving steroid and plasma treatments. He then began physical and occupational therapy at the end of December.
Dustin said that, “Doctors said they couldn’t give an answer on whether or not he was going to walk and it [didn’t] mean he was going to be paralyzed the rest of his life,” and that physical therapy was challenging at first, but Alaric was actually improving.
Next thing the family knew, by the end of January, the hospital staff and physical therapists were able to give a “cheerful sendoff” to baby Alaric as he took his first steps again for the first time using his walker, crossing the finish line on video. Sarah said, “When we first brought him to the hospital, I didn’t even know what our future would look like. I don’t think any grown up could’ve handled what Alaric handled in the way that he did.”
And now, Alaric is now at home in New Castle, Pennsylvania, with his three sisters, 13-year-old Allyson, 10-year-old Ava, and 4-year-old Everly. Dustin explained Alaric’s incredible progress, saying, “The moment we got home, it was like another light switch went off. He did everything in his power to move his body and be with his sisters.”
Alaric Walking Around at Home
This 2-year-old walking was even more significant because he already had a love and talent for baseball. According to Good Morning America, he loves monster trucks, excavators, and construction vehicles. So his family hopes to see him pick up a bat again. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses for the boy’s medical expenses.
It’s important to understand that we never lose hope in taking hard work, and even intentional movement, for granted. Every time I take a long walk somewhere, I’ll always remember to be grateful for my ability to move because of Alaric. What an inspiration.