Childrens Health

Devastating Diagnosis of Adelaide Toddler Who Became Paralysed After His Nap

Sixteen-month-old Justin Bradbury has always been a happy and energetic little boy. When he woke up from his afternoon nap last Monday and was hysterical, his parents, Sarah and Nathan Bradbury suspected something could be wrong.

They never imagined it could be due to a rare neurological disease that has left their little boy paralysed from the neck down.

Now Justin remains in the hospital with his parents by his side as friends and family rally to support the little boy who may never fully recover.

‘He was absolutely fine during the day’

Justin and his twin sister, Taylor, were their normal happy selves during the day Monday. The pair, who are normally inseparable, played before their nap. When the twosome woke up, Taylor was fine but Justin was really upset.

At first, Sarah and Nathan thought he may have just been having a temper tantrum. He was running around thrashing at everything and completely inconsolable, which was not like him at all.

Justin then became floppy and couldn’t move his arms. Sarah immediately rushed him to the emergency where they performed multiple tests. At that stage, Justin wasn’t able to stand and he got progressively worse from there.

transverse myelitis - Justin paralysed after nap
Source: GoFundMe

When he arrived he was getting worse [and] ended up unable to breathe on his own or move his arms or legs. This is a 16-month-old beautiful baby boy, who has a twin sister, Taylor. He was absolutely fine over the weekend and during the day Monday, until the afternoon,” Sarah’s friend Danni shared on Justin’s GoFundMe account.

‘Could recover almost fully or not at all’

It took several tests to confirm that Justin is suffering from swelling around his spinal cord which has paralysed his body. Sarah and Nathan also received the devastating news that their son has a rare neurological disease called transverse myelitis.

He’s been treated for transverse myelitis and is basically paralysed from the neck down. He could recover almost fully or not at all. The next 3-6 months are going to be about trying to get him well enough to come home.

It’s going to be a long road to recovery. We know we will get there and we trying to get through day by day,” his devastated mum shared.

transverse myelitis
Source: GoFundMe

Transverse myelitis is an inflammation of both sides of one section of the spinal cord. This neurological disorder often damages the insulating material covering nerve cell fibers (myelin) and can lead to loss of muscle power, sensory symptoms (pins and needles) and bladder and bowel dysfunction.

‘Hug your kids’

Family and friends have rallied to support the 16-month-old Adelaide boy who, for the first time, is now separated from his twin sister and his older siblings, Hayley, 9, and Lucas, 12.

transverse myelitis - Justin paralysed after nap
Justin with his siblings. Source: GoFundMe

Sarah remains by her son’s bedside while Nathan has taken time off work to stay with the other children.

One minute they’re playing and cuddling you, having the time of their lives, and now he’s not doing anything,” said Nathan. “Hug your kids. You don’t know when they’re gonna not be able to hug you back.”

Justin has started steroid treatment to try and get the swelling down but it will take time. So far the treatment appears to be working and Sarah shared (through happy tears) that yesterday Justin was even able to move his toes and watch a bit of cartoons!

transverse myelitis - Justin's recovery from paralysis
Look whose awake! Source: GoFundMe

Well done little man! You can follow Justin’s journey and support this Adelaide family through GoFundMe.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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