WAUKESHA - From behind the bar to bedridden.
A popular Waukesha bartender is suffering from a rare syndrome and hundreds in Waukesha are rallying around him for support.
His condition is not getting any better after a sudden, rare near-paralysis.
For nearly 9 years, he’s been pouring drinks and serving customers at People’s Park in Waukesha. Bahman Khanmohammadi – better known as "Ali" – is a recognizable face downtown, but since April 7, the only place he’s been seen is a hospital bed.
"They ran some blood tests, a spinal tap – I noticed at that point, that I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down."
He became unusually weak after a jujitsu class and quickly started to lose sensation in his body — until he was in a state of near-paralysis.
Bahman ‘Ali’ Khanmohammadi
"I’m screaming and like crying and swearing and I just don’t know what to do," Khanmohammadi said.
Doctors eventually diagnosed him with Guillan-Barre Syndrome – a rare disorder where the immune system attacks your nerves.
"The only thing they could associate it with that they couldn’t rule out is that I had COVID. And that was in December," he said.
This active 41-year-old's life has stopped and Khanmohammadi is worried about short and long-term care because of uncertainty surrounding insurance and mounting bills.
Friends and customers have stepped up in a big way – raising nearly $23,000 through a GoFundMe. A fundraiser is also planned at The Destination in Waukesha on June 6 from 2-6 p.m. It’s all to help this well-liked bartender get back on his feet and back behind the bar.
"I just want to get back to myself and do things on my own," he said.
Recovery is possible, but it could take months or even a year to fully regain mobility.
Researchers are looking into COVID’s impact on this syndrome.
If you’d like to donate to his cause, click here.