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Partially paralyzed Florida boy walks champion steer after stem cell treatments

Posted at 11:31 AM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 09:03:47-04

MAYO, FL (WTXL/RNN)  An 11-year-old Florida boy's miraculous steps, along with some bovine motivation, inspire a community and social media.

For Luke Adams, what seemed to start out as a cold in infancy turned into paralysis due to idiopathic transverse myelitis – a condition that causes extensive damage to nerve fibers of the spinal cord.

Initially, it left Luke a quadriplegic.

"It destroyed his spinal cord from C1 to C7 leaving him basically lifeless," his mother Kimberly Adams said.

He regained some strength and control over his limbs and other functions over time. He's able to move with the help of a walker.

As Luke got older, he saw family members like his big brother Blake participating in the family tradition of showing cattle. Luke wanted to take part, but couldn't because of his condition.

His family exhausted all their insurance options in the United States, then took their son to Panama for stem cell treatments.

"If I hadn't have gone to Panama, I wouldn't be where I am today," Luke said.

He’s now completed more than 400 treatment sessions.

In good faith, his family bought Luke a steer, hoping one day he’d be able to participate in the family tradition. He named it Wayland. 

The payoff is a video of Luke taking some hard-won steps to show his reserve grand championship steer.

Local businesses recently raised more than $17,000 for Luke. The family plans to use the money to fund more stem cell treatments.

A GoFundMe account has also been created to help pay for the therapy.

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