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Sikeston, MO

Medical mystery solved

Medical mystery solved
By: Crystal Britt

SIKESTON, Mo. - He spent months in a wheelchair, and countless doctors couldn't explain why. 16 year old Adam Tinnin of Sikeston went from an active teenager to paralyzed in just a matter of days. Today, we're happy to report, he's back on his feet. It's all thanks to the work of one doctor who solved this medical mystery.

It all started about 10 months ago. Adam's mom took him to the emergency room thinking a spider bit his foot. But, things got much worse and quickly. He lost feeling in both feet. The only thing doctor's could agree on is that a virus caused it. But, no one seemed to know how to help Adam.

"They were just blue, they looked like dead people's feet." Stephanie Tinnin felt helpless. Her son Adam was in so much pain, and she couldn't do anything about it. "I was frustrated and distressed because I didn't know what was going to happen", said Adam Tinnin.

His active teenage lifestyle came to a crashing halt. "I thought to myself, it's not fair." Adam went to hospitals and doctor's offices all across southeast Missouri. "A week later we took him to Children's hospital in St. Louis and we were there 21 days, no one knew what was going on, they ran test after test...nothing", said Stephanie Tinnin.

Adam said,  "I asked everyday, when will I get the feeling back in my toes? And, they said, we don't know if you ever will." Those words were just as painful as the physical torment.

So, his family resorted to the only thing they knew could help, prayer. "We had prayed that day, Lord just send someone in here to give us some kind of answer", said Stephanie Tinnin.

That answer came in the form of a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.  Adam recounted what she told him. "She said, I was in Children's hospital in the doctor's lounge drinking coffee and reading the newspaper when I heard about six doctors talking about your illness and they were going to send you home." His diagnosis: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.  It's like Carpal Tunnel, but in his ankles. After two surgeries Adam was back on his feet in just a matter of weeks.

Now he's back to playing the drums, and being a kid. He's going to school, and yes, walking. It's the miracle he prayed for. "You want to give up, but you can't.", said Adam.

Adam's doctor's name is Susan MacKinnon, and she truly was a God send for the Tinnin family. Adam is trying to raise awareness about his condition, hoping he can help others. He says through this experience he now knows for sure what he wants to do with the rest of his life. He wants to become a doctor.

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