Mystery bug strikes down Caloundra school boy
CHAD Bridgman does his best to crack a smile, but only his right side responds.
The 11-year-old Caloundra schoolboy is in a Brisbane hospital after suffering a stroke two weeks ago which paralysed the left-hand side of his body.
Chad's mother Gillian Keay and aunty Gail Keay have been by his side, desperately wanting to know what caused the stroke.
Gail said it could have been caused by a rare bug or virus which attacked and inflamed Chad's sinuses.
"It infected his whole head, which could have caused the stroke," she said.
"He's paralysed down his left side. His speech is a little bit affected. You can understand him if he talks slow."
Chad is also autistic and doesn't fully understand what has happened.
"He's getting frustrated he can't move his legs," Gail said.
After rehabilitation sessions, Chad has regained a slight feeling in his legs.
"Chad doesn't give up easily, but it will be a long process," Gail said.
"He is doing really well.
"It's slow, but he's improving."
Chad was also on blood thinners to prevent another stroke, and was due to have an MRI to take a closer look.
Gillian and Gail can't believe it all started with what they first thought was a common cold.
"About three weeks ago, he started getting headaches, then had a runny nose," Gail said.
Chad was taken to Caloundra Hospital, where medical staff detected an infection in his tonsils.
He improved after going home, but within days he started vomiting and was admitted to Nambour General Hospital for observation before again being discharged.
But when Chad's condition worsened and he couldn't move the left side of his body, they took him back to Nambour, from where he was transferred to Royal Brisbane on November 29.
Gail hoped Chad would be well enough to transfer back to Nambour by Christmas, to be closer to home and continue rehabilitation.
Chad, who is in Year 6 at Caloundra State School, has had visits from three of his teachers and the school community has donated more than $2000 and Christmas food hampers.
"I didn't know there were so many people out there who could help you in that situation," Gail said.
"Thank you is not enough."
- Donations can be made to Chad Bridgman fund: BSB 064406, account number 00090139. Special thanks also to Caloundra and Currimundi McDonalds, Gold Recruitment, Helping Hands Uniting Church Mooloolaba, Ronald McDonald House, Woolworths Caloundra and Caloundra State School.