2-year-old recovering, and regaining spirit, after mystery illness forces amputations on all four limbs

Mystery illness causes boy to need amputations on parts of all four limbs

INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN/CNN) - A two-year-old boy continues to recover at an Indianapolis hospital after a mystery illness forced the amputation of parts of all four of his limbs.

Jeremiah Cox is at Riley Children’s Hospital, where emergency room doctors saved his life.

His parents were unsure if their spirited boy would return after so much pain.

But out of the physical struggle of physical and speech therapy, optimism is emerging.

"At first I didn't have hope, and now I do,” said his mother, Ashley Cox. "I just hope that he can make somebody else smile the way that a lot of people have made him smile."

It’s unclear what afflicted Jeremiah, but physicians said he had to have amputations done above both knees and elbows.

Now therapists at the hospital are working with him on getting more comfortable with “how to push up, how to maneuver himself around” as well as feeling comfortable with himself.

“We are hearing more and more words. That's a big part of this, is to keep him coming out his shell and interacting with the world,” said Dr. Chuck Dietzen.

Even just a simple high five represents progress.

"Just getting him used to high-fiving and fist-bumping when in fact it's the residual limb,” Dietzen said.

His father, Nicholas Thompson, said he was overwhelmed by the support he’s seen.

"I'm breathless when I see how many people contact us, and how many people follow our story,” he said.

That included another amputee, who dropped by with a superhero doll with the arms and legs cut off.

"Superheroes can still be superheroes no matter what,” said Cox.

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