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Couple Kept Apart By West Nile Virus

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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FORT WORTH – (CBS 11 NEWS) James Blessing is a veteran who spent his whole career in construction.

He maintained the house he and his wife have called home for 45 years. He didn’t stop working outside this summer when he had a pin put in his hip.

The 78-year-old is now in the hospital. He was overcome by headaches and pain that even he couldn’t bear after a week.

“He hasn’t even been able to hold a glass of water and get it to his mouth. He’s just been that sick” said Blessing’s wife Jo.

Monday, she learned how her husband, whom she calls a “tough guy”, was finally taken down.

Doctors diagnosed James Blessing with West Nile Meningitis.

All it took was a bite from one tiny mosquito.

The neighborhood where they live is heavily wooded. A drainage ravine runs directly behind their house and they have plants on the property so at times there is standing water.

They had heard the news about West Nile but never thought that is what could be making him sick.

And since he was admitted two days ago, Jo Blessing has not even been able to see her husband.

“Because I’ve been taking chemo for a year and a half,” Blessing said, “I know that I probably couldn’t take what he’s taking right now. I probably couldn’t take that.”

The cancer patient can’t risk getting sick herself. Her daughters have to give her updates.

She says she is confident James will rejoin her soon and she will be more aware of how dangerous the virus can be.

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