A toddler has been in the hospital with a mysterious partial paralysis for two months, and her doctors can't agree on what caused it. Did a spanking cause Miley's paralysis? Or is a virus responsible? The parents and grandmother of two-year-old Miley Ray Sharp insist that their daughter's condition was caused by a caretaker who spaked Miley after she soiled her pants. Two of Miley's doctors agree that it was caused by trauma. But a third doctor thinks the paralysis was caused by a spinal cord virus.
According to Miley's grandmother, bruises along Miley's spine and on her nose, along with video of the girl running around right before her spanking prove that's what caused her condition. And they want to hold that caretaker responsible. I suppose if two doctors are agreeing with that diagnosis it's a possibility -- but that's one intense spanking! I don't even think you could cause a spinal cord injury with just your hand, but who knows? Maybe with the right angle? So that's theory number one.
The other theory, that the paralysis was caused by a virus, sounds way more plausible to me. Viruses can cause all kinds of harm. I don't know how you get that kind of virus in your spinal cord, but I'm sure there's a way. Viruses are sneaky that way.
But if you admit your child's mysterious paralysis was caused by a virus and not someone's cruelty, that can send you into the same formless, abstract land of frustration just about every other parent of a severely ill find themselves in. It makes you feel so powerless. Blame a person or blame... germs? Blaming a person is so much more satisfying. There's a culprit you can see, hold responsible. You can't hold a virus responsible. Your best hope is to attack it and hope it quietly retreats.
All of this is to say, I can see why the parents would be so insistent that their daughter's paralysis was caused by a spanking. But before they attempt to harm what could be an innocent person, I think they should be open to other possibilities. Maybe the most logical explanation is the right one.
Do you think a spanking could cause paralysis?