Matt Reisig’s condition has now stabilized, according to doctors. (Submitted photo)

Matt Reisig’s condition has now stabilized, according to doctors. (Submitted photo)

B.C. father paralyzed after apparent flu has regained some movement, recovery continues

Matt Reisig has begun to slowly regain movement in parts of his body.

An Aldergrove man who was paralyzed from the onset of a rare, neurological condition after battling what is suspected to be the flu has now regained some movement.

Matt Reisig was rushed to Peace Arch Hospital on March 1, after tingling in his legs progressed to a complete collapse onto the floor.

Initially, it seemed that 31-year-old Reisig “had the flu just like the rest of his family,” said Cara Parks, an aunt of the family.

Upon arrival at the ER, however, Reisig was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).

In the following two weeks, Reisig lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder, and face movements including nodding, eye rolling, and side-to-side head motions which he used to communicate with his wife, Ashley.

Reisig also had to be intubated in order to breathe because of lost pulmonary function.

READ MORE: Young father fights for his life after the flu leads to paralyzing disease

On Sunday, Matt underwent a tracheostomy procedure at Surrey Memorial Hospital in order to hopefully shorten the duration of mechanical ventilation.

“He’s trying to mouth words to me but his mouth is a little weak, since it’s had a tube in it for over three weeks. His jaw is shaky as he re-teaches it to open and close,” Ashley explained.

She has been by his side the entire time in hospital, with their one-year-old daughter Ayla.

The young father is now in “stable” condition, according to doctors, and during one assessment with a nurse on March 25, Reisig was able to move his forearm. A day earlier, on March 24, his wife reported that he was even able to move his hand.

“Matt can feel a different back muscle and he can lift his head up off of his pillow. He’s also started feeling tingling pain in his hands and feet… it can mean that the nerves are starting to regenerate so I’m hoping that’s the case,” Ashley said.

Reisig’s progress, albeit small, is a sign of hope for the family – who wants to raise awareness about GBS – a mysterious inflammatory disorder where the immune system attacks myelin sheath surrounding nerve cell axons instead of the virus the body is sick with, according to Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Such nerve damage inhibits Reisig’s muscles from being able to carry out their normal functions.

“Matt doesn’t feel better yet but he trusts me when I tell him that I can see improvements,” Ashley told the Aldergrove Star. “Now that I see improvements I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

GBS is said to cause adverse effects until the disease peaks at up to four weeks, before plateauing, according to Parks. Reisig is currently at the beginning of week five.

There is no known cause for the condition.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read