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

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

District of Port Hardy considering allowing modular homes and short term rentals. (North Island Gazette File Photo)
Port Hardy considering short term vacation rentals and modular homes

Check out the online public hearing on Jan. 26

Creekside Apartment building. (Kimberley Kufaas Photography)
Half of the Creekside Apartment building reopens for tenants

Owners will be looking to rent out the other half of the building’s units tentatively by the spring.

Chris Voller with Gwa’sala First Nation hereditary chief Willie Walkus at a farewell gathering for Voller. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island First Nations nominate RCMP officer for Reconciliation Award

Chris Voller nominated for work in the community over past nine years

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building to save their lives

‘multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

Most Read