Life can change drastically in the blink of an eye.
Cody Hively was only 27 when he received his diagnosis for a severe form of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a fatal condition found in around one of 20 patients. According to the Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barre syndrome is “a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves.”
His symptoms began in January 2022 with numbness and tingling in the feet, and then progressed to complete numbness up to the shoulders.
In early February 2022, Cody was hospitalized, where he eventually became completely paralyzed about two weeks later.
“Every day the doctors said the same thing, this could stop tomorrow, or it could just keep getting worse,” Cody said.
It’s so hard to imagine hearing this everyday – but victory was on the other side.
Cody’s symptoms were so severe that he was only able to nod his head slightly and nurses had to use an alphabet board to talk to him. Unable to breathe or swallow properly, he had to be intubated.
“It was really disturbing,” he recalled. “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.”
Cody spent three months in the hospital where he received intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a treatment for patients with antibody deficiencies. His treatment was extensive, but his age and active lifestyle aided him in his recovery. Cody, an actor, had to relearn how to use his muscles.
Over time, the sensation gradually returned to his body and he was moved to an in-patient rehabilitation clinic. It is here that he began his recovery – including learning how to walk again.
Cody underwent four hours of physical therapy a day, but by early July, he was able to walk short distances with some help.
“I’m a person who enjoys being physical and active, so I’m used to working for things like this,” said Cody. “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.”
And those small steps would eventually lead him back to the gym, just six months after his bout with paralysis, to be exact. Wow, what an incredible feat!
Although he admits he never thought he’d ever be included in that one in 20 statistic, he still never gave up hope. Congrats, Cody! We’re so happy to see how far you’ve come!
Share this story to celebrate Cody’s miraculous recovery.
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