Local man paralyzed after West Nile speaks out
CALVERT CITY, KY- Four short years ago life was good for Don Hise.
"I'd go to the drug store every morning with a group, drink coffee, and solve the world's problems," he remembered, with a smile.
At 73 he was enjoying his retirement. Then, suddenly his health changed.
"I ended up having a racing heart beat and Terri came and checked on me," he remembered.
Oldest daughter, Terri Telle is a doctor and insisted her father go to the hospital.
"He never had any heart problems before so I knew something was wrong," she said.
After a series of tests it was confirmed Hise, who had recently traveled to New York, Tennessee, and Illinois had the West Nile virus. By that point, Hise was partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
"A lot of the people in the population will have antibodies to the West Nile and don't even remember being sick. But there are a small subset of people- mainly older people that will get the full blown disease like Dad did," Dr. Telle explained, adding the most common symptom is a week or two of extreme fatigue.
Hise became sick in September. Experts say this time of year, conditions are just right for the mosquitoes carrying West Nile to breed and multiply. In fact, West Nile was recently reported in Brookport, Illinois.
Health officials advise using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves, and checking screen doors and windows to ensure mosquitoes do not get in.
Says Hise, now 77, "One mosquito can do it."
Thanks to therapy, Hise says he is doing better. He says he has two goals, to walk again and ride his bike.