Survivors share devastation, warning about West Nile

posted by WOOD Radio News - 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Heather Ibrahim didn’t hesitate when 24 Hour News 8 asked if she would be willing to meet a fellow West Nile patient.

“It’s kind of like a brotherhood of people who’ve gone through this, you know,” Ibrahim said. “People can be kind and supportive, but it’s not the same thing as being able to talk to someone who’s been through the same thing you have.” 

Ibrahim, one of Grand Rapids’ earliest West Nile patients, thinks she contracted West Nile when she was bitten by a mosquito while mowing her yard in August of 2002.

Ibrahim, now 45, spent a week in a coma and a total of five weeks in the hospital.

“I couldn’t walk for close to six weeks,” she recalled. “It affected every muscle in my whole body… I had to relearn how to swallow.”

Full story: WOOD TV

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