Posted at: 07/09/2014 4:32 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It's tough going for 54-year-old Abelicio Molina these days. It's hard for him to see where he's going and it's even harder for him to walk.
"I have to walk around with these things. These crutches. That's starting to affect my joints," Molina said.
Last September, when New Mexico received heavy rain, Molina noticed some of that rainwater collecting in pots in the backyard of his west Albuquerque home.
Molina noticed mosquito larvae growing inside. He says one of those mosquitoes bit him in the back. A week later, he started feeling sick with a body temperature of 109F.
Molina went through three painful lumbar punctures on his spine to determine what was causing his ailments. It turned out to be West Nile Virus.
During his nearly month long stay at Lovelace Medical Center, Molina lost close to 40 pounds along with three-quarters of his entire muscle mass.
He's also developed a stutter along with bad eyesight, muscle spasms and seizures.
For the rest of his life, Molina will have to take muscle relaxers, pain killers, and go through rigorous physical therapy.
"The strain of West Nile that I have is the polio strain, which is affecting me like polio. My legs are starting to go out," Molina said, meaning that he could be confined to a wheelchair instead of crutches.
Molina's case is rare, but there are things you can do to protect yourself from West Nile. Click on the link below for more information: http://archive.nmhealth.org/ERD/HealthData/westnile.shtml