Dylan Kade Continues His Road to Recovery

September 1, 2020 by
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After nearly two and a half months, Dylan Kade is finally home and on the road to recovery. The three-time CrossFit Games teen athlete was released from C.S. Motts Children’s Hospital on August 25 after being diagnosed with and treated for Jamestown Canyon Encephalitis. He quickly progressed from being on a ventilator fighting for his life to standing and walking on his own since the diagnosis.

The diagnosis: Jamestown Canyon Encephalitis is a rare virus that is spread through mosquito bites with symptoms comparable to the common cold. In the case of the 19-year-old Kade, the virus attacked his brain and spinal cord causing severe inflammation. The seriousness of his case stumped medical professionals as it was just the fourth recorded case of this magnitude in his home state of Michigan. The virus crippled Kade and left him severely hampered and cognitively impaired. Unable to eat and move he was later put on a ventilator to help him breath as he went in and out of consciousness.

The recovery: Since being diagnosed, doctors were able to treat Kade and he immediately responded to those treatments. He lost over 55 pounds after not eating solid foods and moving for nearly a month. His recovery process started with learning to breath on his own, talking and basic movements. After relearning how to do those basic tasks, he started four weeks of physical therapy where he was able to do a full depth squat, learned to walk with crutches and a strict muscle up. Doctor’s attributed his fast recovery due to his physical fitness through CrossFit.

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Post 1/3⁣ As many as you know the past few months have been scary and unpredictable for me and my family. One day before I started puking my guts out and getting a bad headache I was doing the Mayhem Madness Qualifers. It only went downhill from there. I got this rare virus from a mosquito bite. The virus usually only causes a common cold in most people, but the virus attacked my brain and spinal cord and caused a large amount of inflammation. I’m the 4th person ever to get it in Michigan. Not the best luck.⁣ ⁣ The first four weeks were a nightmare, even though I don’t remember most of it. I only remember the beginning, when my eyes went crazy, vomited excessively, had an excruciatingly painful headache, and I couldn’t look down. After the first week I was hallucinating pretty much the whole time and had dreams of someone always out to get and hurt me. ⁣ ⁣ My parents told me some of the stuff I had to endure during this time. I had to be on a ventilator to fix my lungs that collapsed. I had a 104 fever for 4 weeks. I lost 50 Ibs from not eating for over a month. They said that my eyes were open, but I wasn’t there. I looked possessed because my eyes would go in the back of my head and do circles around the room. When I did talk, I sounded like a two year old. I also had tremors for a straight week and then lost movement in my entire body for a couple weeks. My family and the nurses weren’t sure if I’d end up having a trachea, being paralyzed, having permanent brain damage, and there was even a point they didn’t know if I’d survive. My family was extremely worried, but it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse when I started to get better. I’ll talk about that in another post.⁣ ⁣ My next post will be about funny stories that happened when I was sedated.

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The future: Kade will continue his physical therapy through outpatient rehab at home as he builds up his strength. With plans of training to become a firefighter, to make a return to the CrossFit Games as an individual competitor, Kade has his work cut out, but after this ordeal, he’s ready to take on any adversity.

  • “I just want to say that I’m grateful for everyone who helped me and my family out,” said Kade. “I was unaware of how many people were supporting me until I woke up after being sedated. It was very heartwarming to hear how many people were with me and made me feel so much better even though I was going through a ton of pain.”

How to help: With Kade’s father suffering from Alzheimer’s and his mother the sole source of income for the family, friends of the Kade family have started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the expensive treatment and recovery. To date, the page has raised over $90,000 with a goal of $200,000.

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