A newly married Wisconsin man is making strides in his recovery after being paralyzed from a polio-like illness he came down with during his honeymoon.

Adam Spoerri married his fiancée Bridget Williquette on July 21 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to a GoFundMe page created for the groom. Days later, the newlyweds set off on their honeymoon road trip.

“Both of them got sick on their trip with some kind of respiratory virus,” a family member wrote. “Bridget’s went away on its own, but Adam did not improve (we think because of an immunosuppressant that he takes for Crohn’s Disease AND because of his severe asthma).”

On August 5, he went to the ER, because he couldn’t breathe and “became increasingly paralyzed while in the ER, including his chest, lungs, arms, throat (swallowing muscles), facial muscles, and neck.”

Spoerri was admitted to the Respiratory Intensive Care Unit the same day where he was later put on life support.

According to the GoFundMe page, Spoerri came down with Acute Flaccid Myelitis. The CDC has been thoroughly investigating the AFM cases that have occurred since 2014, when it was first noted a large number of cases were being reported. Rates have appeared to skyrocket over the past few months.

The condition affects the the nervous system — specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter — which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak, according to the CDC.

There have been 362 cases of the disease since August 2014, which the CDC calls “an increased number.” In Minnesota alone, six children have been diagnosed since mid-September. The average for the state is less than one case a year.

Spoerri went from only being able to communicate by writing on paper (his wrists and hands weren’t as affected by the paralysis) to speaking and starting to move again, according to an update on their GoFundMe page. He also went from being on a ventilator 19 hours a day to now five hours.

“The other day he was sitting up and scratching his leg,” the family wrote. “I watched him, with no walker, go up and down the hospital hallway with only the arm stabilizer kicking a ball with PT. He kept his balance the whole time and could raise both feet to kick. Previously he would have needed to hold the walker or someone holding him to do this and he would lose his balance a lot, especially when raising the less stable foot.”

“The paralysis may or may not improve with physical therapy,” the family continued.

Williquette hasn’t left her new husband’s side since the incident.

“We are just so happy to be together!” wrote Williquette. “I can’t even explain how much love I have for him. It’s otherworldly. It’s unfathomable. Sometimes I don’t believe it myself. It’s like my whole life exists solely to love him without boundary.”

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