Local News

High-School Basketball Player Continues Recovery From Virus

Posted March 4, 2004

— No 16-year-old expects to end up in a wheelchair, especially not a star athlete like Mikey Olliver.

Five months ago, a virus called

transverse myelitis

paralyzed Olliver from the waist down. He spent two months lying in bed.

"It was terrible," he said.

Said Olliver's father, Michael: "I was just devastated by the fact that there was nothing I could do about it."

For a while, Michael Olliver feared his son might never walk again. But Mikey is back on the court.

He does not appear to have lost his moves or his shot.

To say "it's pretty good," as Mikey did, is an understatement. The high-school junior's recovery is going so well that he is jogging some again.

Mikey graduates next year and wants to play college basketball. His father said a few schools already have their eye on him.

"To me, it's just remarkable," Michael Olliver said.

Mikey said he has just one regret about his recovery: that it did not happen quickly enough to let him play in the season that just ended.

But he said he plans to be back for the start of his senior season.

Even though it has taken months of intense rehab and hours in the gym each day, Mikey said he always believed he would make a quick and full recovery.

He said faith brought him this far.

"Just keep fighting and pray," he said.

Mikey said his story proves that positive thinking can help a person reach just about any goal -- even when it seems like a long shot.

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