A newlywed couple in Milwaukee has been put to the test after the groom contracted a paralyzing illness just days after the pair tied the knot.
Adam and Bridget Spoerri got married in July and went on their honeymoon shortly after. During their trip, Adam came down with a cold that soon turned into a life-altering condition called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a polio-like illness that more commonly affects children. Once he returned home, Adam started to have trouble swallowing and breathing, his wife told local affiliate Fox 6.
The newlywed was taken to the emergency room for assessment, but it was another two months before he was diagnosed with AFM, a rare nervous condition that causes arm and leg weakness and a loss of muscle tone. It can also cause drooping in the face and eyelids and difficulty swallowing or moving the eyes.
“The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] estimates that less than one in a million people in the United States will get AFM every year, and only a few each year are adults,” Adam’s sister-in-law wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help the couple.
“He was given a tracheostomy … to help him breath more comfortably, but he is still on the ventilator,” the GoFundMe story continued. “He is able to communicate by writing on paper, as his wrists and hands were (thankfully!) not affected much by the paralysis. He has been doing daily occupational and physical therapy and has made small gains to get more motion in his arm. … The paralysis may or may not improve with physical therapy (A very small percent of people with AFM recover fully).”
Despite the huge setback to the beginning of their married life, “the love these two share is incredible to witness,” the family said. “Bridget hasn’t left Adam’s side and has been sleeping next to him at the hospital every night. … Adam has also remained dedicated to Bridget, using his limited hand strength to write ‘did you get any sleep?’ and ‘did you eat yet?’ and “i love you.’”
The newlywed couple’s GoFundMe campaign has raised almost $8,500 toward its $20,000 goal as of Tuesday morning.
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