A 2-year-old Batavia girl who is recovering from a rare condition that affected her nervous system is now undergoing therapy.
Julie Payne was diagnosed with AFM, acute flaccid myelitis. In October, the toddler had cold symptoms that had become serious as the condition impacted her nervous system along her spine.
She has since come a long way, but is now re-learning motor skills and strengthening her muscles.
Julia isn't the only AFM patient being treated at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. They have seen at least 10 other cases.
The Payne family is grateful for the support and hope to draw awareness to prevention and treatment of AFM.
Father Josh Payne said it is a relief to see her smile.
Julia's in-patient treatment has meant her parents have spent a lot of time downtown away from her older sisters. But over the holidays, the family will all stay downtown so they can be together and close to Julia.
AFM has been on the rise in the U.S. since 2014.
The Centers for Disease Control just created an AFM Task Force to define a cause and deter ways to best help patients.
Julia's parents expect it may be years before they know how AFM may permanently affect Julia.
But for now they are happy to see her tremendous progress.
Batavia girl, 2, recovering after acute flaccid myelitis diagnosis earlier this year