Sport-mad teen paralysed for life after going into hospital with back pain

A sport-mad teenager has been left paralysed from the waist down after going to hospital with sudden and excruciating back pain two days after Christmas.

Daniel Hassan spent six months in a Newcastle hospital after being diagnosed with a "one in a million" condition, ChronicleLive reports.

The 14-year-old, from High Heaton in Newcastle, had been playing chess with his brother on December 27 when he suddenly started experiencing agonising back pain.

Within 10 minutes he was on the floor, screaming in agony, and had lost all feeling in his legs.

Daniel was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and was eventually diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, an extremely rare condition that has left him paralysed from the waist down.

After being bed-bound for three months, he transferred into a wheelchair and eventually started walking on crutches.

This week Daniel finally walked out of the ward and returned home with his family, to the sound of applause from the doctors and nurses who cared for him.

Daniel’s mum, Balsam Ahmad, said: "The medical staff are treating him as a miracle.

"It’s very difficult to say what will happen next with his condition because it’s very rare and very individual.

"That’s the hardest bit – the prognosis isn’t clear, but we are optimistic with what he has achieved so far."

Before December 27, she said Daniel was a normal 14-year-old, who was “really fit and healthy and one of the best runners at his school.

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She said: "On that day he was playing chess with his brother on a normal Sunday.

"He went up to his room and within 10 minutes he was screaming on the floor with excruciating back pain."

After going to A&E, Daniel was admitted and ultimately diagnosed with the rare inflammatory disease, causing injury to the spinal cord.

Balsam said: "It’s a very rare condition – one in a million. In Daniel’s case, the attack was sudden with no prior warning. There was also no cause found.

"It was devastating as it took away from him the thing he loved most – his running."

Daniel managed to walk out of the ward without using his crutches on Wednesday (June 23) – something he had promised he would do “from day one”.

Balsam said: "Daniel engaged well with physiotherapy and pushed himself really hard even when he was in so much pain.

"No one would have believed when he initially presented on the 27th of December that he would be walking in June.

"This is a testimony to his hard work at physio but also the brilliance of the rehabilitation team."

Daniel has now decided he wants to give something back and is fundraising for both the Newcastle Hospitals Charity and the Newcastle United Foundation.

He is aiming to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per week, from the day he was discharged to his 15th birthday on September 12.

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