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.

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Google Maps shows significant traffic backups after a crash reported shortly before noon on Father’s Day, June 20. (Google Maps)
Father’s Day crash in Saanich closes lane of McKenzie Avenue

Police say there were injuries, traffic impacted

Victoria Regional Transit System routes 7 UVic/Downtown, 21 Interurban/Downtown and 53 Colwood/Langford will undergo changes as of June 28. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria school routes scaled down for summer by BC Transit

Service changes take effect June 28, enhanced service returns this fall and winter

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read