Man Close to Texas Rangers Diagnosed With West Nile Virus - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Man Close to Texas Rangers Diagnosed With West Nile Virus

Al "Papa Hogg" Price worked for Rangers for 15 years



    Former Texas Rangers employee Al 'Papa Hogg' Price, 81, is fighting for his life after doctors diagnosed him with West Nile virus. (Published Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012)

    A man close to the Texas Rangers is battling for his life after doctors diagnosed him with West Nile virus.

    Al "Papa Hogg" Price, 81, worked for the Rangers for 15 years as a security guard and his son, Richard "Hoggy" Price, is the team's clubhouse manager.

    Family members said Al Price became disoriented and fell the day before Father's Day. Doctors hospitalized him when they realized he was running a high fever.

    Richard Price said his father got worse every day.

    "He was just out of it," he said. "He faded out of it. You couldn't talk to him. He was just there but he wasn't."

    Players often see Al Price hanging around the clubhouse.

    "I call him Papa Hogg," infielder Mitch Moreland said. "He's always around, hanging out with us in the clubhouse here."

    Once in the hospital, it took doctors close to five days to diagnose his father with West Nile virus, Richard Price said. In a span of less than two weeks, his father has lost almost all body functions and is hooked up to a breathing machine, he said.

    "It's something you read about -- 'Oh, West Nile.' But what that does to a human person in the span of a week -- it's unbelievable to take a human being that was as strong as my dad at 81 and put him on his back to where he has no functions," he said.

    "They now have him on a breathing mask," Price said. "He is so weak, he can barely breathe for his self. His muscles, which cause him to break; his whole body is exhausted."

    "Everybody wants him to do come out of there, full recovery, as quick as he can," Moreland said. "He's part of this team now as much as he's in here just visiting with us all the time. The guys, they care about him."

    Price said he wants what happened to his father to be a lesson for everyone, especially the elderly, about the dangers of West Nile.

    "He's had a tough go with a quad bypass and all the things he's gone up against. But this one put him in the battle for his life," he said.

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