HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Imagine coming down with the flu and having it end with being paralyzed from the waist down. That is what happened to a Hackensack, New Jersey high school student.
The father of 16-year-old Erin Kelly told CBS 2’s Emily Smith the entire episode unfolded early Sunday morning. Jerry Kelly said his daughter woke up to use the bathroom and hasn’t been able to move her toes or legs since.
“About 9 o’clock that night she had pins and needles in her ankles. Couple hours later they were up to her knees and about [2 a.m., 3 a.m.], she got up to go to the bathroom and it was all the way up to her waist,” the girl’s father told CBS 2’s Smith.
Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center told the Kelly family about Erin’s rare diagnosis. They said it is a post-viral spinal infection.
“She had some time of virus and then this is the result of that virus.”
“They asked if she had traveled, if she had had a flu shot, if she had nausea, if she had eye infections — we’re trying to track that down. We have no idea how it became,” Jerry Kelly said.
Friday was game day for the Hackensack High School softball team and Kelly’s teammate donned purple uniforms in honor of the third baseman who is in a hospital bed. Wearing Kelly’s number 7, all her teammates loudly proclaimed “We love you Erin” as she watched the CBS 2 report from her hospital bed.
“We do love her and miss her very dearly,” said softball coach Joelle Dellavolpe.
Kelly’s family said she is alert and awake and is in good spirits.
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