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DFW West Nile Victim Looks To Start Support Group

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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West Nile Virus

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Art Creech is working to regain his life, three years after going to the doctor with flu-like symptoms. “I went to the doctor and they tested me for Swine Flu which was going around in ’09. And I went back and about eight days later, and that night I collapsed on the floor and couldn’t move my legs,” Creech said.

Creech suffered from menongital-encephalitis, one of the most dangerous types of West Nile virus-related illnesses. “The muscles in both my legs and both my arms disconnected from the nerves, and those have to grow back and re-attach at a very slow rate,” Creech said.

Creech was in hospitals and medical care facilities for two years. During all that time, he had no one to comfort his fears. “You can’t give up,” he said, “because they’re not going to give you straight answers, because they don’t know. They don’t know if you’re going to get better or you’re going to get worse.”

Creech wants to form a West Nile support group for the victims and their families. Just like with rebuilding his muscles, Creech said that he cannot build the support group alone. “It would be really nice to get that started. I’m going to need some help to get it going,” Creech said.

His personal motivation, Creech said, comes from within. But he knows that other West Nile victims right now are thinking the same thing that has been on his mind for three years. “It would have been really nice to have somebody to talk about what they’re going through,” Creech said.

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