Local boy returns home after battling rare polio-like disease

Maryland

According to Johns Hopkins doctors, acute flaccid myelitis affects the spinal cord and creates stiffness in the muscles

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — After 302 days of bouncing from hospital to hospital, Richard Dougan, 8, has returned home.

Richard was diagnosed with a rare polio-like disease, acute flaccid myelitis, in October 2018 and was then admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital. There, he was temporarily isolated and having to undergo several operations.

“He had spent four of those days turning into cardiac arrest so they’ve been very traumatizing for mom, to say the least for me, but he is now home and he is doing well,” Latasha said.

According to Johns Hopkins doctors, acute flaccid myelitis affects the spinal cord and creates stiffness in the muscles. Richard had both trouble moving his limbs and trouble speaking. According to his mom, Latasha Dougan, Richard was eating through a feeding tube for some time.

Fast forward 302 days later, Richard is back home with his family and getting better. Although AFM remains in Richard’s bloodstream, his family is hopeful that now that he’s home, he’ll be happier, just like them.

“I would cry almost every single day after I got home from school because I missed him that much, I’d always help with him ever since he’d been a baby,” said Richard’s sister Nevaeh Dougan.

Latasha hopes to take Richard to see the ball drop in New York City this upcoming New Year’s. She said without the help of family, Johns Hopkins and Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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