Family and friends are desperate for answers as a Roanoke child clings to life, battling a rare disease.
Four-year-old Camdyn Carr spent Christmas in the hospital and, according to doctors, is 80% paralzyed — but that’s not stopping those close to him from fighting.
“To see a four-year-old that’s in perfect health overnight go downhill like that was just unbelievable,” said Matthew Fowler, Camdyn’s godfather. “It was earth-shattering. It was heartbreaking. I didn’t know how to react to it.”
Four-year-old Camdyn suffers from Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM for short.
It’s a neurological condition so aggressive, mysterious, and rare that the even the CDC can’t point to a cause.
“There’s no way to tell. Nobody knows. There’s no treatment for it, there’s no nothing,” said Camdyn’s dad, Christopher Carr.
He says that Camdyn went from healthy to paralyzed in less than 24 hours, at one point dying on a hospital table.
“The emotional damage that was done from just watching what my son went through is, you know, there’s no coming back from it,” he said.
Chris says he does his best to keep his composure, but faces his own set of struggles; Camdyn only recently started drinking water by himself, and Christopher quickly found it impossible to balance a full-time job with providing nearly round-the-clock care, so he chose to be by his son.
Still, he says his hopes for Camdyn haven’t changed.
“I expect the highest from him. I want him to go to school, go to college, I want him to become whatever he wants to be. Because he’s smart, and he can do it. He’s just- his mobility is not all there yet,” he said.
Christopher says he cannot begin to thank those who have supported his family along the way, especially Matthew, who has organized a fundraiser to help buy his godson a medical transport vehicle.
Matthew lives almost an hour’s drive away in Moneta, but finds the time to stop by a few times a week.
“We’ve been like brothers since day one and I feel like this has brought us closer together,” he said.
As for Camdyn, whose mobility is limited to his left wrist, right leg, and left face, you’ve probably not noticed that he’s been playing video games this whole time – using his toes to compensate for his weak hand.
Exactly the kind of strong spirit and rejection of limitations that both men say provides them hope for the future.
“We want to see him get better, and they say that no kid has ever fully recovered from this AFM, but I have high hopes that Camdyn is going to be the first,” he said.