Our Dad's Battle With West Nile
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
Having dad home has been great and he is getting adjusted to his new routine at home. So far this week we have noticed that his oxygen levels have been better than usual, which is a step closer to getting off the vent. Doctors said this could be because he is more relaxed at home and in familiar surroundings.
Aside from the good things, it has been challenging getting used to having nurses in and out of the house as well as learning all the medical procedures and processes. With time this will be our new normal and we are very OK with that!
After 1 week, we are seeing just how quickly we go through supplies like paper towels, gloves, and antibacterial wipes. We have already had to make several trips to stock up. Though the overwhelming outpour of love and support for our family has been amazing, please continue sharing this page with your family and friends!
We really can't even begin to thank everyone enough.
It's back to watching the Blackhawks game for us! Have a wonderful Sunday!
-The Walls Kids
Today was a great day! After 7 months, our dad was released from the hospital and cleared to come home! He is so happy to be home and is excited to embark on this next chapter of his recovery. Though still on a breathing tube, in home health care will be working hard every day to get him breathing on his own again. He will also begin 3 hour physical therapy sessions later this week.
Though we are excited to have our dad back home, we still have a long road ahead of us. Your continued support and generousity is greatly appreciated!