Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

West Nile Survivor Still Recovering 1 Year Later

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Larry Coffman was diagnosed with West Nile virus nearly a year ago and says while his family is helping him get through the illness, his life will never be the same.

    A North Texas man who was diagnosed with West Nile virus nearly a year ago said while his family is helping him get through the illness, his life will never be the same.

    It was almost a year ago that Larry Coffman was in a medically induced coma.

    As Coffman had come home from work, his eyes were twitching and he didn't feel well. He went to the hospital, and three days later went into respiratory failure.

    Man Still Recovering 1 Year After West Nile

    [DFW] Man Still Recovering 1 Year After West Nile
    A man who survived West Nile virus says his life, about one year after the diagnosis, has not been the same.

    Doctors put him in a medically induced coma, and he tested positive for West Nile virus.

    "My dad is my dad, right? He is untouchable. To watch it take him down the way it did it was pretty tough to deal with," said his son, Thomas Coffman.

    And the next thing Larry Coffman knew, it was November. He said that is when he was up and knew what was going on around him.

    "It slapped me in the face: you missed the baseball playoffs," said Larry Coffman.

    He had to learn to walk again before he could come home, but getting around was still a struggle.

    "A lot of crying. I realized I can't even transfer myself from the wheelchair to the couch," said Larry Coffman.

    Now, he can. He has improved so much with his family right there beside him. Sometimes, he walks with a cane, and can't use his hands like he used to. They were clenched while he was in that coma.

    Larry Coffman had no idea how devastating West Nile virus can be.

    "I am exhausted all of the time. Some days are better than others," he added.

    Right outside of his house is bug spray, and a reminder to always use it. He did not before, but he is grateful for everyday with his family.

    "In my case, I decided early on if I am alive, I am OK with that," he said.


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