‘Miracle’ for Iowa boy after devastating diagnosis

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JOHNSTON, Iowa (WHO/CNN) - The parents of a Johnston-Urbandale Soccer Club player say their son was the recipient of a miracle after he was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis this summer.

For 11-year-old Luke Whitlock, playing soccer never felt so good. In early June, Luke started feeling sick. Local doctors diagnosed Luke with mono, but his symptoms continued to get worse.

Luke says, “My legs felt tingly and my hip had severe pain.” His mom says he was dizzy, and couldn’t even walk straight without holding on to walls.

On June 14th, Luke’s parents hopped in the car and headed to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. His parents say, within an hour, an MRI was ordered along with a spinal tap.

The diagnosis was AFM. Acute Flaccid Myelitis. It’s an extremely rare disease that affects less than 1 in a million people. There is no known cure and few treatment options. The most common outcome is paralysis.

“Literally I was begging God to heal my son.”

His parents were afraid he would never move again. After three days, something happened. Luke began walking. Doctors were baffled. After a few weeks of physical therapy, Luke was back to playing soccer. His family says it’s their miracle.