Oklahoma Police Officer Paralyzed From Neck Down by Mystery Illness

Doctors have been left baffled after an Oklahoma man woke up one morning to find himself paralyzed from the neck down.

Larry Porter, a police officer in Okmulgee County, has been looking for answers after he was left stricken on September 1. With the help of his fiancée, Porter was carried out of bed and taken to a nearby hospital where doctors tried to work out why he was struggling to move.

They were not able to establish the cause but found that Porter's potassium levels were extremely low and he was airlifted to the Hillcrest intensive care unit.

Weeks of tests followed as medics worked to find out what was causing Porter's paralysis, according to Oklahoma news outlet NewsOn6. Eventually they found that his pituitary gland appeared to be failing but the exact cause of his condition is still unknown.

Person in hospital bed
A stock image depicts a person lying in a hospital bed. Doctors are working to find the cause of an Oklahoma police officer's sudden paralysis. gorodenkoff/Getty

"I had a terrible night that turned into a nightmare," reads a statement by Porter on his GoFundMe page. The page, titled "Support Officer Larry Porter," has been set up to help the police officer and his family through the financial strain of being out of work.

Paralysis is usually caused by a problem with the body's nervous system. Normally, uninjured nerves send signals to muscles which make them move.

Paralysis comes in many forms and approximately one in 50 Americans have some type of it according to the Cleveland Clinic medical center. It can be temporary or permanent and it can affect only one small part of the body or the whole body. Additionally, it can either cause muscles to go flaccid and shrink, or it can cause muscles to tighten uncontrollably.

Strokes and spinal cord injuries are the top causes of paralysis but other causes can include autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, brain injuries and neurological diseases.

Porter is due to be moved to another medical center where it is hoped that doctors will be able to find an explanation for his condition. Until then, the police officer is unsure what will happen next.

"Everything in my life is still unclear and no doctor can find out what or why I'm paralyzed," Porter's GoFundMe statement reads.

Funds donated to the page will be used to help with Porter's expenses like rent, utilities and medical costs.

The police officer provides for his fiancée as well as their five children and step-children. At the moment, he must do so on half of his normal wages since he is on medical leave and short-term disability pay.

Porter's mother has started a GoFundMe page for herself as she has left her job to be her son's full-time caretaker.

"I'm very grateful and will forever remember everything everyone has done," Porter's fundraising page reads. "I love my girls so much and I'm just trying to get back home to them and back to serving my community!"