Levittown teen beats odds against rare disease
A 16-year-old old Levittown boy has beaten in the odds in his battle against a rare disease.
Alec Woodruff, is recovering from acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. He was diagnosed with the life-threatening illness in October 2018. AFM is a polio-like illness. Woodruff's symptoms started with a simple cough.
Woodruff's mom, Terri Woodruff, took him to the pediatrician, but the doctor said his lungs were clear. She then thought he might have pneumonia or meningitis when he complained that he couldn't keep his head up.
Terri Woodruff eventually rushed him to Winthrop University Hospital, where he was diagnosed with AFM.
"They were trying to figure it out and I was literally watching him decline in health right before my eyes," says Terri Woodruff. "It was 12-13 hours and a really brilliant doctor walked in and said, 'Oh my God, he's got that thing I've been reading about... that polio thing.'"
Woodruff was treated at Winthrop and then he spent months in recovery at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Westchester.
Woodruff is home now recovering. He is partially paralyzed, but no longer needs a wheelchair or ventilator.