SC man falls asleep healthy, wakes up paralyzed - FOX Carolina 21

SC man falls asleep healthy, wakes up paralyzed

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Michael Garreau is able to do work around his yard after an illness paralyzed him two years ago. (File/FOX Carolina) Michael Garreau is able to do work around his yard after an illness paralyzed him two years ago. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate man woke up one morning paralyzed because of a rare disorder, but his faith and family have helped him slowly recover.

These days Michael Garreau gets a kick out of doing work around the yard. He and his wife, Marie, are a young outdoorsy couple just starting their family with their son Tobias. 

But two years ago everything changed. After suffering a bout of bronchitis, Michael Garreau woke up one morning paralyzed.

"I tried to get out of my chair and I couldn't get out of my chair," Michael Garreau said.

At first he lost his ability to walk, his legs felt weak and within hours he was in the hospital paralyzed from head to toe. Within three days Michael was on a ventilator and was completely immobile.

Michael Garreau had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder that occurs when the body's immune system suddenly attacks the nervous system. The syndrome is usually triggered by an illness or infection and affects one out of 100,000 people each year.

"As the disease was progressing and getting worse and worse and the idea of death... The possibility of this becoming terminal... I didn't become freaked out," Marie Garreau said. "I couldn't really dwell on that... and some people call that denial... I call it the sovereign hand of God over my eyes saying trust me."

Two years later, Michael Garreau said they very thing he struggled with now motivates him towards recovery. There is no guarantee he will be where he used to be before getting sick, but he has come a long way recovering some of his motor skills.

And Marie Garreau is now pregnant with twin boys.

"You know that God is good and when something like this happens it's like wow," Marie Garreau. "How could a good God cause something like this to happen and it causes you to question and search the scriptures and in that way it tests your faith."

Michael Garreau now shares his faith with his students. He teaches at an Upstate bible college.

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