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Our Dad's Battle With West Nile

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In August of 2016, our dad, Jeff Walls, contracted encephalitis from West Nile virus . This infection has rendered him completely paralyzed. He is unable to eat and breathe on his own, making this one of the worst documented cases ever in Illinois. 

Our dad began feeling feverish and woke up in the middle of the night unable to breath. At the hospital, doctors could not find anything wrong and sent him home. Within 6 hours, he suffered a seizure and was rushed back to the hospital. He was in critical condition so doctors induced a coma to relieve stress on his body. After two long weeks of waiting at the hospital for test results, we found out he had West Nile virus. The West Nile virus had contracted into encephalitis (inflammation of the brain due to infection). Less than 1% of West Nile victims contract encephalitis.

Our dad then spent the next 3 months in a coma. When he finally awoke in October, he was unable to move any part of his body. The virus had attacked his central nervous system, leaving him paralyzed. During the time he spent in a coma, doctors had to give him a breathing tube, feeding tube, and emergency stomach surgery to relieve blood caused by a liver rupture. For the last 7 months our dad has been unable to breathe on his own due to paralysis from the virus. 

Our dad went from a man who never turned down an extra shift in his 29 years as a Union Carpenter, to someone who cannot physically take care of himself. A man who often enjoyed spending his free time outside grilling steaks, to not being able to enjoy a decent meal. Above all, our dad loved to take care of our family. However, since August, we have been taking care of him.

Though encephalitis has destroyed our dad's life, we are hopeful that he will one day be able to move and breathe on his own again. Our father is looking at a very long recovery and the best treatment options are necessary for him.  Soon, our dad will be returning home to continue learning how to breathe on his own again and start physical therapy. We will have to purchase a hospital bed, ventilator, and a number of other pieces of medical equipment to take care of him. On top of that, the medical costs from the last seven months have grown exponentially. Looking forward, we will only be incurring more costs for physical therapy, respiratory therapists, and homecare assistance. Our mom also had to quit her job to be our dad's full time caregiver.

We are asking for your help so that we will be able to pay for in home nursing care, medical equipment, and hospital bills. With your support, we are hopeful that one day our dad will get his life back.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

-Nick, Ariana and Lindsey Walls

Organizer and beneficiary

Ariana Walls
Chicago, IL
Marisa Walls

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