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Paralyzed EMT Learns to Walk Again

— EMT Austin Bird spent three months on a ventilator after going through increasing paralysis. 

DUBUQUE, Iowa — An EMT is learning how to function again after being diagnosed with a rare condition that left him paralyzed.

WQAD reported that EMT Austin Bird spent three months on a ventilator after going through increasing paralysis from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that causes the nervous system to be attacked by the body.

“Even now, I’m forgetting what it was like, because it was that horrific,” Bird said

After a year of challenges, Bird is now learning how to eat, dress and use a cellphone, and is walking short distances thanks to therapy.

“You have to be a fighter. He’s fought, I’ve fought, and we’ll do whatever we can until he’s back up and walking,” Bird’s mom, Anna Adams, said.

Bird credited his EMS colleagues for their support in his recovery. He hopes to return to work by the end of the year with a desk job, and plans to attend paramedic school in the fall.

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Troy Shaffer
Troy Shaffer

About the Author: Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

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