How a 61-Year-Old Connecticut Grandfather Once Paralyzed Completes Intense Obstacle Course and 5K

Greg Whitehouse suffered from Guillain-Barre syndrome or GBS, a paralyzing autoimmune disorder likely triggered by COVID-19.

There were tears of joy and accomplishment when Greg Whitehouse crossed the finish line of an intense and challenging obstacle course. For someone who had been unable to walk just seven months before the Gaylord Gauntlet 5K and Obstacle Race in Connecticut, this was life-changing.

Greg contracted what he thought was a mild case of COVID-19, but two weeks after his diagnosis, he felt shooting pain down his back. This led to him falling and breaking his ankle.

“The ER doctor said I had Guillain-Barre syndrome or GBS, a paralyzing autoimmune disorder likely triggered by COVID,” Greg Whitehouse explains.

The 61-year old became slowly paralyzed from the legs up, and no treatment seemed to halt its progress.

He spent two months in the hospital doing intensive physical and occupational therapy. He went from only being able to move his eyes and mouth to regaining the strength to conquer the 22 obstacles in the Gaylord Gauntlet 5K race.

And right by Greg’s side for the entire race was the team of five therapists who helped him learn to walk again.

“It was just unbelievable to have them with me,” he added. “They've made my life what it is in the last seven months, so to do it with them is just almost beyond description.”

Greg calls being an adaptive athlete in the 5K “one of the highlights” of his life. And through the ordeal of recovering from his illness, Greg has learned that depending on other people can help you survive.

“There's no need to fear anything. You can make it through,” Greg Whitehouse lastly said. “You just got to have a positive attitude, you got to rely on people, let them help you, and you'll get through it together.”

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