Christine Lee, Irving Reporter
William Miller is grieving the loss of his beloved wife to the West Nile virus and now faces a battle against the disease himself. Chris Hooper with the City of Irving says the city will continue ground spraying to help control the mosquito population that carries the disease.
An Irving man is grieving loss of his wife, his son and a pet in a span of just two months.
William C. Miller, 86, lost his wife of more than six decades to West Nile virus on Aug. 21.
"I missed having someone that cared for me more than anybody else in the world, and I never, ever doubted it for a minute," he said.
His wife, Deema, would have turned 84 years old on Tuesday. The couple would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on Oct. 15.
He said this summer has been extremely difficult. The couple's oldest son died in July of a blood clot. And he and his wife put down their family dog after 17 years.
Miller got more bad news on Monday, when he found out that he is also infected with West Nile virus.
Then came more bad news. Miller found out on Monday that he too has the infection.
"I can't eat. I can't sleep. I wake up around midnight, I go to bed at 10, wake up at midnight. And I have a terrible dry throat," he said.
But, despite the struggles, he is staying optimistic, Miller said.
"I'm not afraid of West Nile or anything else," he said. "I don't think it's going to hurt me. I think I'm going to recover."
The city has been extensively ground-spraying Miller's neighborhood, knowing it is a high-risk region.
"We've been aggressively working in that neighborhood," said Chris Hooper, community resources director. "We sprayed a number of times. We've also distributed a lot of the larvicide tablets."
Hooper also said the city is working with the state to opt for aerial spraying in the future and advised residents to continue taking proper mosquito precautions.