North Texas

11-Year-Old North Texas Child Paralyzed by Enterovirus-D68

A mystery illness that has sickened children all over the country has caused paralysis in a North Texas child.

The family of 11-year-old Bryan Sotelo, of Allen, was told he tested positive for enterovirus-D68 Thursay.

In many cases, the illness causes breathing problems to the point where children have ended up on ventilators. That won’t change the course of treatment for Sotelo, who has been treated as if he had the virus since he was admitted into Children’s Health in late July.

The road to recovery will be long and filled with many unknowns, but Sotelo has improved and is regaining some sense in his limbs.

“I miss that Bryan hugged me, and kissed me every day," Sotelo's mother Yadhira Gracilazo said. "That's what I miss.”

Doctors are hopeful and, although Sotelo is in a wheelchair right now, haven't ruled out him walking in the future.

“One of the wonderful things about treating children is they surprise us. It's really exciting to take care of them and exciting to see Bryan today moving parts of his body that weren't moving before,” said Dr. Dallas Stobaugh, from Children’s Health.

Now, Sotelo's family celebrates small milestones. For example, Sotelo wrote a birthday card using his left hand Wednesday. He still hasn’t regained feeling in his right arm.

“I told her thanks for being my mom and I love her so much,” said Sotelo.

The family said they will continue pressing on, one step at a time.

“When I was in therapy, I stand up for three times, and I sat down for 10 minutes by myself,” recalled Sotelo.

His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical costs as they make their apartment wheelchair accessible.

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