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Mom: Son making 'miracle' recovery from West Nile

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Travis Thelen has "far exceeded expectations," said his mother, Marti Thelen. "The doctor said he's never seen progress like this before."

The Fowler boy was diagnosed with West Nile by physicians at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing on Sept. 6.

Travis complained about pain above the knee to mid-thigh, and as the disease advanced, his left leg became paralyzed. He initially was sent home, but then began to lose strength in his left arm, and his left hand curled so that he couldn't straighten it.

Travis was re-hospitalized and given intravenous immunoglobulin treatments, which stopped the disease's progression.

Thelen said her son worked hard at his recovery. When the doctor told him to do an exercise 10 times, Travis did 20, she said.

Now he's jumping on a backyard trampoline and this week is attending a sports camp and playing basketball, baseball and football.

"He never quit," Marti Thelen said. "Nothing stopped him. Even pain was tolerable. He loved pain, because he knew (pain meant) things would start to come back."

Travis tires more easily than he used to and gets the occasional headache and dizzy spell, but he is pretty much back to his old self.

He's looking forward to starting fifth grade in the fall. But first there's summer vacation, when he can spend more outside time playing with friends.

"I can run now," Travis told the newspaper. "I don't have to sit in the wheelchair anymore."

Thelen said: "It's just amazing. He's a walking miracle."

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