Support pouring in for teen mysteriously paralyzed - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Support pouring in for teen mysteriously paralyzed

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--  A typical teen getting ready to graduate middle school was mysteriously paralyzed. Shane Roof of Louisville is at the Frazier Rehab Institute paralyzed from the neck down and doctors aren't sure why, but his parents are remaining hopeful.

For Darrell and Alex Roof, the last month has been a blur.

"This is just the hardest thing we've ever had to go through. He's our everything. And to see him at his worst and to have to watch him in pain is just extremely difficult for us," said Alex.

Their 14 year-old son is an avid outdoors man and a straight A student, now he's paralyzed in a hospital bed.

"It was like an eight hour span from like 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. that he went from totally being normal to totally paralyzed from the neck down," said Alex.

The day before Mother's Day, Shane and his dad were mowing grass, getting ready for a family get-together.

"Push mow, for four or five minutes. He got my attention and said he didn't feel well," said Darrell.

Shane went to lie down, but soon after his breathing became weak and he complained that his legs felt funny. Shane was then rushed to Norton Children's Hospital.

"By the time we got down here he was little to no movement and really having difficulty breathing," said Darrell.

"It was like being in a whirlwind like nothing made sense," said Alex.

Doctors ruled out a tick bite and eventually diagnosed Shane with a spinal cord infarction, which is an interruption in the blood flow to the spinal cord. They've narrowed down the cause to two possibilities.

"It's either a spinal stroke, which is extremely rare like 1 in 3 million," said Alex. "And the other thing is they're saying it could be a viral attack to the spine."

The exact cause of the injury remains a medical mystery. Since Shane was hospitalized his parents haven't left his side. They have a long journey ahead of them, but support is pouring in. Alex and Darrell are members of the Kentucky Air Guard and say their military family has been by their side. U of L basketball coach Denny Crum and stand-out player Darrell Griffith even visited Shane in the hospital. That support helps keep the family hopeful.

"We can't go back and change them, but we can stay positive and move forward," said Darrell.

Shane moved to Frazier Rehab Institute this week where they say the real work begins. 

"We're staying positive for Shane. He's our life and what we try to instill in him is that never give up. This is the place to be if you're going to get better," said Alex.

Shane's already made huge strides, regaining more and more movement in his lower extremities.

"He's got big plans and a big future ahead of him. He's going to be tough and do what he needs to do to beat  this," said Darrell.

A GoFundMe page was also created to help with the expensive and long journey ahead of the Roof family.

You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/for-shane-roof

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