Mom Diagnoses Son’s Rare Illness After Seeing Another Mom’s Facebook Post

Facebook is used for far more than sharing just statuses and photos these days—it has become a place for discussing politics, creating friendships and spreading awareness for important causes. That last one helped one mom save a boy’s life.

Two years ago, Rachel Scott, a mother of five in Texas, noticed her 5-year-old son, Braden’s, cough turned into trouble swallowing, standing on his own and later, breathing. After he was taken to the hospital, he was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). According to the CDC, AFM is a rare condition affecting the nervous system, causing the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak.

There is no known cause of the condition, but it affects about one in every million children. Rachel created a Facebook page, Team Braden Luke, in hopes of raising awareness of AFM since Braden’s diagnosis.

Fellow Texas mom Elizabeth Cardone came across that Facebook page and was struck by the family’s story. Soon after, her 2-year-old son, Corbin, caught a cold and then showed signs of weakness, similar to what Rachel had described her own child experiencing. When she tried to stand him up next to his crib, he collapsed repeatedly.

“It probably was seconds before I connected the dots from a respiratory illness for over a week, now he was recovering from it and getting better, but all of a sudden has this sudden-onset weakness,” Elizabeth told Good Morning America. “I immediately thought of Braden and I immediately thought of AFM.”

Elizabeth reached out to Rachel via Facebook and asked for her advice. Rachel told her to ask Corbin’s pediatrician about AFM to see if that could be the cause of his issues. After reaching out, her son was soon diagnosed with the rare condition. Corbin started treatment and regained the ability to walk in just days. Elizabeth said seeing the mom’s Facebook page saved her son’s life. The two moms met up for an interview with GMA.

We never thought social media could be used to save lives, but we’re glad it is. Keep on spreading awareness of what you’re passionate about, mamas.

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