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West Nile Virus: “You just never get over it!”

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14th, 2013

Photo/Pat Mitchell. "I'll just never have my life back as it was," said Tina Willis as she recounted her 10-year battle with the ever-present repercussions of West Nile Virus.

Last week, a front page article discussed the facts concerning West Nile Virus. Below are the personal stories of two local people who agreed to talk about what being its victim has done to them.

WHEATLAND – The recent attack of the West Nile Virus (WNV) on a young wife and mother of two has brought the seriousness of this disease carried by mosquitoes to Platte County. I Even though there seems to be fewer of those pesky bugs this year, even those who live in this rural area are not safe from its ravages.

But this recent case is not the first in Platte County. Tina Willis and Craig Henderson both came down with WNV in 2003.

Tina was at a roping with her husband Dick in Cheyenne when she began getting sicker and sicker, finally finding a place to lie down where she immediately went to sleep (thus the old name sleeping sickness). By the next day, Dick had her at the doctor’s where John Thalken and Tanda Hicks took her through some movements, one being to tip her chin to chest which she could not do. Her head just wanted to rock back. 

“It was fatigue like none I’ve ever felt,” Tina said. The back of her head hurt horribly. In the hospital, she was almost in a coma and was paralyzed on the left side. Even when she got home, sleep was constant. There is no “cure” nor is there anything that can be done. The body just has to work its way through the virus.

For the complete article see the 08-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-14-2013 paper.

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