Little Patients, Big Miracles: Family prays for answers and ends up with a rare diagnosis

Published: Aug. 24, 2016 at 5:17 PM EDT
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Wednesday August 24, 2016

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The golf course is where Grant Reese is comfortable.

The lush green of Sage Valley golf club in Aiken is Grant's playground.

Instead of swinging from monkey bars Grant is riding in golf carts and practicing his perfect swing with his dad.

He's younger than most golf pros by at least a decade, but he can tell when the wind is messing with his shot.

It's hard to imagine the little boy practicing his chip shot as anything but healthy, but learning how to walk this green, even stand on it, has been anything but easy.

"Shortly after Grant's birthday. He just started to break out into explainable hives. And it was everyday and it progressively got worse," said Grant's mother, Donnell Reese.

Grant's mother Donnell says their family went from doctor to doctor.

"And we really had no answers," said Reese.

After countless tests and questions a doctor turned them to the Children's Hospital of Georgia.

"She told Grant I don't know what's wrong right now, but she said I will find out," said Reese.

"I remember praying that god would just uncover the ugly and just let it come to the top. Just let it surface," said Reese.

Over the next few months the bad things did boil over to the top.

"Grant became weak and he had trouble walking. He was falling down and as it progressed over the summer he was crawling, rather than walking," said Reese.

"I remember we were at the lake and it's just two steps to get into the house and he struggled. He got stuck on the steps and couldn't get up two steps," said Reese.

But seeing the worst brought answers.

"So when we got home I talked to Dr. Jerrith and Barbara said I need to see you, you need to come on in," said Reese.

"He was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy," said Reese.

Grant's very rare diagnosis meant his body was attacking the protein around his nerves, making it hard for his brain to speak to his muscles.

"So not only was it his gross motor skills, but also his fine motor skills. Using his forks and spoons was really hard," said Reese.

With answers and the help of Children's Hospital of Georgia came a turnaround for the Reese family.

"Grant's progress really changed in a month. I mean in a month he was walking. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't great, but he was attempting to run and he was attempting to jump by month two or three," said Reese.

Now he's back to the course, playing with his dad and even getting to meet a golf superstar.

"I do feel like we lucked out having Children's Hospital in our backyard. I drive into the parking deck and I say it all the time, but the license plate tags in that garage really, really humble you.. how far people come to children's hospital," said Reese.