How this “superhero” dad's tiredness turned into a rare disease
A healthy father of two thought he was just suffering from fatigue before he was struck with an extremely rare disease that left him partially paralysed in June.
Sam Hambly from the Sunshine Coast was left bed-ridden in hospital after he was left with the news he had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) - an auto-immune disorder where the immune system attacks nerves connecting the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body.
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Both Sam and his wife, had no idea what was in store for them when the 27-year-old dad was left feeling exhausted all the time a little over a month ago.
“He started getting really tired, he didn’t have the strength to go to the gym,” Amy, 27, explained to Yahoo News Australia.
“But he was just so determined to keep working, he just didn’t think anything of it.”
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Today should be a happy day filled with celebrations, Jack Daniels and cake. But instead it’s a effing shit day that I think we will both want to forget but never the less... HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMMY! Your without doubt the strongest human I know mentally. I hate that your going through this let alone on your birthday but Darcy, Leo and I love you so so much! Your the backbone of our family and we wouldn’t be complete without you! I hope you start feeling better really soon. I’m proud of how your handling what life has thrown at you and I will always be by your side to take care of you when you can’t and support you when you need me. Crossing my fingers for you to be feeling like your usual self soon and for this to all be a distant memory! Love you always bub. Stay strong 💙
Sam began experiencing even stranger symptoms when he had a bout of gastro, followed by a sore throat and numbness in his toes.
Soon the numbness had spread to his feet and although he was persevering at his job as a plumber, he found it even more difficult to control his limbs.
“...His legs gave way at work – he collapsed,” Amy explained.
Despite his worrying, his symptoms were warded off by medical professionals who believed he had sinus issues and sent him home with Endone and medication.
However, the couple soon realised Sam’s “left eye wasn’t shutting and we thought it was the Endone,” Amy said.
The next day, the “the whole left side of his face wasn’t moving – I thought he’d had a stroke.”
Sam was rushed to the hospital and later he was diagnosed with GBS after a series of tests.
“Sam can move his legs but he can’t feel them,” Amy said. “His face is paralysed so his face doesn’t move. His arms and legs he can move but he can’t feel.”
While the sad situation has taken a toll on their family, the support they have received from the community has been overwhelming.
To ease the burden on the couple, a friend set up a GoFundMe page.
“We might not be able to help Sam get back on his feet sooner although we can help to take some of the financial burden off his shoulders so he can concentrate on getting back to his normal superhero Daddy, strong self,” the crowdfunding page reads.
“Sam’s one of those people that likes to do things himself and provide for himself. He’s so happy and generous – but he can’t believe the help and support he’s had,” Amy said.
“I can’t believe it, I can’t say thank you enough, it just shows how supportive everyone on the Sunshine Coast is. It’s just beautiful really. Hopefully one day I can pay it forward.”
While the road to recovery is long, Sam has returned home from hospital and since continued on his journey to “heal surrounded by his family.”