The body is a mysterious thing. Some seemingly healthy individuals are suddenly struck by mysterious ailments and lose the ability to live their lives normally.
One such story is a man who was paralyzed from the neck down. He didn’t expect this and the doctors thought that this was how he was going to be. Fortunately, fate had other plans and he has made an incredible recovery. In fact, he’s back at the gym just six months after becoming sick with what was a potentially deadly immune disorder.
The man’s name is Cody Hively and he was an actor. He was just 27 when he received a diagnosis from a doctor. The expert told him that he had a severe form of the Guillain-Barre syndrome, a lethal condition that hits roughly 1 out of 20 patients.
For those unfamiliar with Guillain-Barre syndrome, this is an immune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the body’s nerves. When Hively got this, he spent three months of his life in the hospital as he got intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a treatment for those suffering from antibody deficiencies.
It was grim at first, but months later, he is back in the gym. In fact, it took him just six months after getting. In fact, he had to train himself how to walk again. It started in mid-January 2022. Hively experienced numbness and tingling in the feet. Then, it slowly progressed until he was completely numb from his feet to his shoulders.
In early February, Hively was admitted to the hospital and this was when he became completely paralyzed after two weeks of the onset of the symptoms.
“Every day the doctors said the same thing, this could stop tomorrow, or it could just keep getting worse,” Hively said. In fact, the symptoms were extremely bad that he only had the ability to sightly nod his head. In order to get his point across, a nurse used an alphabet board for communication. He also needed to be intubated because he lost the ability to breathe or swallow properly.
“It was really disturbing,” he said, looking back at the experience. “I was a prisoner to my own body, minutes turned into days turned into weeks turned into months. My whole body felt like it was on fire.”
As luck would have it, he was actually a physically active man who wanted more out of life. His mind was stronger than the disease. The treatment he got was successful and Hively felt the sensation gradually coming back. Eventually, he was moved to an in-patient rehabilitation clinic on March 17th. This was the beginning to a long yet rewarding road to recovery.
Hively had to re-learn movement and the use most of his muscles. To do this, he had undergone four hours of physical therapy each day. By the time July hit, he was finally able to walk short distances. Of course, this was with some assistance.
“I’m a person who enjoys being physical and active, so I’m used to working for things like this,” Hively said. “When I began walking it felt like I was alive again, each week I would make progress even if it was a couple of extra steps.”
The next month, he was back in the gym. He was finally able to exercise and said that he didn’t think he was going to be that 1 in 20. He always had hope and his attitude has brought him far.