PITTSBURGH, PA --Within hours, a healthy two-year-old transformed from an active toddler to a quadriplegic. His diagnosis is so rare the chances of getting it are one in a million.
Nolan Nachreiner excelled developmentally for his two and a half years of life, but within hours on January 30, Nolan became a quadriplegic.
"We gave him some milk in a sippie cup like we always do and we noticed he had some issues trying to grasp the cup," Nolan's dad, Eric Nachreiner, told WTAE-TV in Pennsylvania.
Before long Nolan's parents say Nolan couldn't stand or even sit without falling over.
They rushed him to children's hospital where Nolan was diagnosed with a rare condition called transverse myelitis.
Nolan had gotten a virus, but instead of his body attacking the virus, it attacked his spinal cord.
"Hearing them say that and seeing the condition he was in, it's scary and it's frightening," said Eric Nachreiner.
Nolan is now at children's institute undergoing physical and occupational therapy.
He has progressed and has enough control of his head and shoulders now that he can dance to Thomas the Train. However, Nolan still needs round-the-clock care. Next month he will be able to go home and at the same time mom is expecting to give birth to baby number two.
"If I think about what life was like three months ago or if I think what about life will be like three months, three years from now, it's too overwhelming. So what works today works today, and that's how we have to move forward," said Nolan's mom, Jennifer Nachreiner.
When he does go home, he will face challenges. Their Indiana township home isn't handicap accessible and there are things Nolan will need for the rest of his life that insurance won't cover.
Friends have established a fund to help the family with their expenses. This will include medical equipment and home renovations. There is also a Facebook page called Get Well Nolan where his family posts updates about Nolan's progress.