PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One young boy is beating the odds on the baseball field.
After nearly 3 years, Bryson Ackermann is back where he belongs – in the dugout alongside his teammates.
“It’s really fun to have fun again,” said Bryson. “This is our last tournament.”
Bryson spent his Friday night competing in an All-Star tournament in South Fayette.
An accomplishment that seemed impossible in 2018, after he was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM at 6-years-old.
It’s an uncommon, but a serious neurologic condition that causes muscle weakness and can lead to permanent paralysis.
“Two-and-a-half years ago he was paralyzed, and he couldn’t hold his head up for a second,” said Jeff Ackermann, his father. “He was in a wheelchair, and he couldn’t do anything. He had a trach. He couldn’t swallow. He couldn’t breathe and here is.”READ MORE: Seven-Year-Old Diagnosed With Acute Flaccid Myelitis On The Road To Recovery
Playing first base on the team – a proud moment for Jeff.
“He’s really worked really hard,” said Jeff. “We started last August coming down here to this field and practicing every single night. And in the past year, he’s worked so much on baseball.”
While specifically focusing on building strength in his left arm which was paralyzed.
It’s also the arm he used to catch with, until former Major League Baseball pitcher Matt Clement gave him the advice to throw and catch with his right.
“It was weird at first, but I got used to it,” said Bryson. It wasn’t too hard, but it was a little hard.”
“I’m really happy for him to be a kid again, run around a baseball field, playing,” said Jeff.
Always feeling a sense of victory and support, no matter the score.