Breckenridge Mother Continues Recovery From West Nile In Abilene

Breckenridge Mother Continues Recovery From West Nile In Abilene

BRECKENRIDGE, TX-A Breckenridge woman who contracted the West Nile virus in August returns to the Big Country.
BRECKENRIDGE, TX-A Breckenridge woman who contracted the West Nile virus in August returns to the Big Country.

Vickie Howard, 60, was getting ready to go to work when she couldn't stand up. Howard was taken to the hospital in Breckenridge to get tested.

Two days later, her conditions got worse and was paralyzed in her legs. Howard was taken to Harris Methodist in Fort Worth where tests showed positive results for West Nile.

A few weeks later, Howard was sent to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene where she's in rehab. According to her family, recent tests from Friday shows that Howard is now negative from the virus. They also state that the mother of one son is now paralyzed from the neck down and unable to swallow.

Howard's sister-in-law Molly Buller say doctors are using a feeding tube through the trachea.

"We hear about West Nile, but we'd never expect it to happen to our family member." Buller said. "It's like she's been taken away from us."

The family was told that the recovery process will take a long time but lately, signs show improvement. Buller says her sister-in-law can slightly talk again.

"She's very uncomfortable and is always in constant misery," adds Buller.

While Howard is recovering at the rehab center, her friends have started an online benefit to help with medical and travel costs.

Howard's co-worker Crystal Huffman opened an account where people can donate money. The goal is to reach $10,000.

To donate money, visit giveforward.com and search Vickie Howard.

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