A Halifax photographer suffering from a paralyzing illness says he's feeling much better these days.
Darrell Oake, who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome late last year, is now well enough to visit home on weekends. His doctors have given him a pass to see his family this weekend.
"Emotionally, [I'm] great. I mean, I've got support, I'm fine. I'm just a little numb in the fingers and just a little fuzzy. Other than that, it's getting better every day," he said Wednesday from the Nova Scotia Rehabiliation Centre in Halifax.
Oake fell ill last November with what began as tingling in his fingers and ended with him hardly being able to move. He spent several weeks in Dartmouth General Hospital.
He's the breadwinner of his family as a freelance photographer. He and his wife, Leanne, have four sons.
Concerned friends, former colleagues at the defunct The Daily News and even strangers were quick to lend support.
Friend and colleague Frank Zinck was one of the first to pitch in.
"We've raised $7,700 in cash, a couple thousand dollars in gift certificates like store coupons and things like that for Sobeys. They've had neighbours who have been filling their oil tank if they need to during this winter," Zinck said.
Leanne Oake said she's deeply touched by how generous people have been.
"There's just no words to describe how happy and, you know — I'm trying to think of the word — how happy we are that we have all these people and all this support that we have," she said.
The IWK Health Centre says 30 people in Nova Scotia were diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome last year. It's an autoimmune disorder that can cause weakness and paralysis. Most people make a full recovery.