A Jacksonville native is in the middle of a long fight with West Nile virus. Dave Workman Sr. has been fighting the virus for several months when some doctors did not give him much hope to survive it.
Recently, the Florida Department of Health in Duval County announced that ten total cases were reported this year in Jacksonville.
Dave Workman Sr. leads an active life with his wife Melissa. His life was turned upside down shortly after a boat trip on the St. John’s River two months ago.
Workman told his wife he wasn’t feeling well but their family went on the trip. Melissa says he started to feel ill after he returned home.
“He disappeared, and I found him, he was dry heaving, dry heaving, dry heaving, and I thought, this was weird, I’ve been married to this man 58 years and never seen this,” she said.
The next day, his health worsened. Workman went to the emergency room and found out four days later he was suffering from West Nile Virus, along with meningitis and encephalitis.
Melissa says their family was relieved that there was a diagnosis, but there’s no vaccine for West Nile virus.
“They didn’t give us much hope, but we had hope," she said.
With hope and their faith, Workman started supportive treatment for his symptoms.
The two say their journey is a roller-coaster. Dave credits his recovery to Brooks Rehabilitation and his wife.
“She has been by my side the whole time ever since it started, spending the night, everything, right there helping,” Workman said.
Melissa is documenting the entire journey on Facebook.
Dave says there’s no timetable for when he could make a full recovery, but the two want others to know that there is hope of beating West Nile Virus with supportive treatment. Melissa also hopes to find support groups where people can help each other while fighting the virus.
“If there’s only one person out there who sees this and says, ‘wow my husband or my brother or someone has West Nile, we’ve given up on them,’ Don’t give up,” she said.
Workman is suffering from one of the more severe cases of West Nile Virus. The Florida Department of Health says the best way of preventing yourself from getting the virus is stopping mosquitoes from breeding.
Most cases of West Nile Virus lead to flu-like symptoms. For more information on West Nile Virus, you can check the Florida Department of Health’s website.