Redford teen learns to walk again, just in time for graduation

Emmanuel Newsroom

Originally published by The Livonia Observer – June 10, 2019

Emmanue’l Franklin’s life was turned upside down eight years ago when he started experiencing chronic pain. Eventually, the pain left him bedridden and fighting for his life.

But he can now stand tall and is looking forward to walking across a stage to receive his high school diploma next month.

“To get to graduate is amazing,” Emmanue’l said. “I never thought I would be able to graduate and be able to walk with the pain that I was in. It’s just amazing that it’s going to actually happen.”

The senior, affectionately known as Manny by his family and friends, started feeling severe pain as a 9-year-old.

“At the age of 9 he started having really bad body pain, and it got progressively worse to where he was bedridden, he couldn’t walk, we had to care for him, we jumped around to different doctors for a couple of years,” said Enomwoyi Franklin, Emmanue’l’s mother.

The pain was so much for the young boy that it left his family questioning if he would live to see another day.

“I asked Emmanue’l one day in the thick of it, I could see him just fading, ‘Would you rather die than be in this pain?’ and he was like, ‘Yes, mommy. My body is hurting so bad,'” Enomwoyi said. “This was at a point where he couldn’t move, he couldn’t do anything.”

After hitting a number of dead ends with doctors who couldn’t put a name on what Emmanue’l was feeling, one of Emmanue’l’s teachers at the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy, an online charter school, finally lent a helping hand.

“I mentioned the situation to one of Emmanue’l’s teachers and she, lo and behold, as fate would have it and God’s divine word, she had chronic pain as well,” Enomwoyi said.

After doing tests, the family was told Emmanue’l suffered from neurological immune disease, which was likely caused by steroids he took to aid his childhood asthma.

Emmanue’l eventually landed with a natural doctor, with whom he started taking a number of supplements and doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Because natural treatment isn’t covered by insurance, the family started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs.

He’s not 100 percent better, but he has come a long way with treatment and lots of physical therapy. Over a four-year process, Emmanue’l worked hard to move from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane and finally to walking short distances on his own.

“It’s just a blessing in the midst of all the pain and turmoil that we have been still going through,” Enomwoyi said. “He’s still going through it, but Emmanue’l is such a fighter. He doesn’t complain.”

Emmanue’l said he’s thankful to have been enrolled in an online school throughout the last eight years, saying it’s allowed him to put a priority on physical therapy and have some flexibility in going through his coursework.

“I mentioned the situation to one of Emmanue’l’s teachers and she, lo and behold, as fate would have it and God’s divine word, she had chronic pain as well,” Enomwoyi said.

After doing tests, the family was told Emmanue’l suffered from neurological immune disease, which was likely caused by steroids he took to aid his childhood asthma.

Emmanue’l eventually landed with a natural doctor, with whom he started taking a number of supplements and doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Because natural treatment isn’t covered by insurance, the family started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs.

He’s not 100 percent better, but he has come a long way with treatment and lots of physical therapy. Over a four-year process, Emmanue’l worked hard to move from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane and finally to walking short distances on his own.

“It’s just a blessing in the midst of all the pain and turmoil that we have been still going through,” Enomwoyi said. “He’s still going through it, but Emmanue’l is such a fighter. He doesn’t complain.”

Emmanue’l said he’s thankful to have been enrolled in an online school throughout the last eight years, saying it’s allowed him to put a priority on physical therapy and have some flexibility in going through his coursework.

To learn more about Michigan Virtual Charter Academy, visit https://mvca.k12.com/

Featured Articles