Hospital Staff Cheer On 2-Year-Old Boy Taking First Steps After Becoming Paralyzed

When Alaric Bridgeman took his very first steps since becoming paralyzed to cheers from onlooking hospital staff, the two-year-old boy simply couldn't stop smiling.

It's been a long road for Alaric, and he hasn't quite reached the end of his recovery journey just yet. But this incredible moment marks a major milestone for the toddler who found himself unable to move his arms or legs while fighting a neurological condition.

In December 2020, Alaric was diagnosed transverse myelitis, a disorder which affects the spinal cord nerves.

Unsplash | Jordan Whitt

According to Good Morning America, the Pennsylvania toddler's parents say they knew something was wrong after he had been complaining about a muscle in his back.

"I lifted his leg and it fell down," dad Dustin Bridgeman told GMA of his conversation with hospital staff during a trip to the emergency room. "I said, 'Look. He's paralyzed.' I could see the fear in her eyes."

Just one day after visiting the chiropractor and the emergency room, Alaric lost the ability to stand or move his arms.

Unsplash | Henry Gillis

Alaric's mom, Sarah Newell, and dad were told that their son was being referred to a neurologist at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. By the time the family arrived, the young boy was completely paralyzed.

"I'll have to say, out of my whole life, this is the one time I was lost," Dustin said. "Both of us, we were lost. We didn't know what to do."

Alaric was admitted to the hospital where he received steroid and plasma treatments.

Unsplash | Daan Stevens

"On December 20, he finally displayed some intentional movement," an Instagram post from the hospital reads, "and the hard work started there."

Over the next few months, "small but mighty" Alaric worked tirelessly with his physical therapists in the hopes of regaining more control of his limbs. He would also take daily walks through the hospital with his dad, where the pair befriended "everyone they passed."

At the beginning of February, all of Alaric's hard work finally paid off and culminated in a powerful moment of triumph over his condition.

A video posted to the hospital's Instagram page shows the youngster taking his very first steps since becoming paralyzed with the use of a small walker.

To celebrate this incredible occasion, the hospital set up a "road" in a hallway, complete with a finish line and a celebratory banner reading "I did it!"

After crossing the banner, Alaric continued walking right into his delighted mom's arms as hospital staff kept up their delighted cheers.

Since his triumphant walk, Alaric has now left the hospital and returned home with his parents and three older sisters. There he will continue working towards making further progress in his mobility, which his parents say can continue to happen over the next year or so.

"The moment we got home, it was like another light switch went off," Dustin told GMA. "He did everything in his power to move his body and be with his sisters."

h/t: Good Morning America