A young athlete fell ill a few hours after a mysterious Staphylococcus disease.
Sydney Fowler, 14, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, complained of headaches and back pain in December 2018.
Her parents, Jeremy and Christi, took her to the emergency room, but the doctor sent her home with ibuprofen, convinced she was not there. He had only a stride on his back.
The next day, Sydney was struggling to move and feel his legs, told Fox 5 in Atlanta.
Her parents took her to the hospital, where doctors discovered a staph infection that went up and down her spine.
The infection has been eliminated through surgeries and antibiotics, but Sydney has come a long way to recover through intense physical therapy to regain her mobility.
Before the staph infection, Sydney trained alongside karate and CrossFit in one of the most competitive women's volleyball teams in the country.
"One day we played volleyball," she told Fox 5 Atlanta. "And the next day, I could not feel my legs anymore."
Doctors at the University of South Carolina discovered that a staph infection had invaded their vertebrae and had squeezed their spinal cord.
Staphylococcal infections are caused by staphylococcal bacteria, common on the skin and nose of healthy people.
In most cases, the bacteria causes only a minor skin infection.
However, if bacteria penetrate deeper into the body, for example into the blood, joints and bones, the infection can be life threatening.
Doctors do not know how Sydney contracted the infection.
As her spine was compressed for 13 hours, she had no mobility of the lower chest, according to a GoFundMe page.
"In a few hours, she went from a fuzzy leg to a stumbling stone, from a leg that did not work, to a leg that did not work." until she is paralyzed to her sternum, "said her father, Jeremy, at Fox 5 Atlanta.
Two spinal operations and antibiotics were needed to clear Sydney's spine infection, but she still could not move her legs.
She was transferred to the Atlanta Children's Hospital in January to begin an intensive physical therapy.
"Many people would just give up in their situation because they can not control what happened to them as they can not," said her physiotherapist Heather Petersen at Fox 5 Atlanta.
"But it's not her who does that, she's not going to follow, she's going to keep pushing."
During a visit to his volleyball team, Sydney has recently shaken his toes.
"She took off her shoe and they said," What are you doing, Sydney? "His father, Jeremy, told Fox 5 in Atlanta.
And she said, "Attention! "And she started moving her toes, everyone started to scold their team."
Sydney added:[The physical therapists] said that it was very encouraging because it was only five months ago. "
Family friends have created a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of Sydney medical bills. So far, nearly $ 19,000 has been raised for a goal of $ 25,000.