I am a retired industrial process piping installer and welder. I spent forty years in the piping profession and in my early years I managed to pass state examinations for Master Plumbing Licenses in ME, NH and OK. I also passed the test in OK for a Pipe Fitter License. I was a Certified Welder and Fire Protection Piping Installer. I did own a small business in NH for five years which I named “T.N.T. Plumbing & Heating Co.” and employed 10 people at it’s peak in 1988.
I have also filled the roles of a Construction Administration Representative for an Engineering Firm, a Mechanical Project Manager for Military Contracts, Direct Examination Technician for Public Utility and Petroleum Companies, Commercial Piping Estimator and Field Engineer on a power plant project.
My career was cut short due to my contracting West Niles Virus with Encephalitis via mosquito bite while working in Modesto CA. I spent 28 days in hospitals in Boston while visiting my mom and siblings. I slipped away daily loosing more body functions and memory. Doctors were not certain what had infected me or hopeful of any recovery. My wife and family expected me to die since my body was shutting down.
On day eight I started to respond to staff and family but struggled with recognizing family members. I eventually was able to feed myself blended foods because of inability to swallow partial solids and get up for bathroom visits. I suffered a few hallucinations which scared me terribly and had no fine motor skills. My eye lids were unable to close for three days and nights and any light was blinding. I had to use a walker while working with physical therapist. Balance was a major issue that would improve over time. I left the hospital after 28 days weighing 25 pounds lighter. I have a significant loss of brain functionality and PTSD from the brain damage caused by the virus. My younger brother Kevin accompanied me home via airline and assisted me along the way minus a cane, walker or wheelchair.
The following year my mom and siblings paid my substantial mortgage payments for 11 months until I qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance. I would have foreclosed on my home if my family didn’t intervene. The SSDI process only took 6 months because I was advised to hire the “Disability Specialists” agency to represent me and I’m glad that I did.
I was denied a Workers Compensation Claim on the basis of “No known West Nile Virus incidents reported in Stanislaus County while I was working in Modesto CA.” This was a blatant lie because the CDC had listed 37 incidents. I have hired 2 lawyers to represent me 1 from Rosebush Michigan where the corporate office is located and 1 from San Francisco CA since the incident took place out there. I am still waiting for a resolution to this suit after 2 years.
Subsequent to the West Nile Virus situation I suffered a stroke at home and was rushed to the hospital by my wife in record time like 10 minutes to travel 10 miles through Duluth MN city traffic. The doctor discovered a hole in the wall of my heart which was plugged a few weeks later with success. I did spend 5 days in the hospital for the stroke and day surgery for the plug.
Finally about 6 months after the stroke I had to undergo surgery to remove 2 types of cancer from my nose. The doctor removed a large area of skin from my nose and grafted a swath of skin from my forehead a bit over an inch wide and 3 inches long. The biopsies showed cancer cells remaining below new graft so I had 22 sessions of radiation therapy to follow.
So people say bad things come in 3’s and if it is true then I am finished with medical emergencies. My heart goes out to my dear wife Lisa for enduring the most stressful of circumstances in the course of 22 months. God is not finished with me yet since He has rescued me from encephalitis, stroke, hole in my heart and cancer. God did not allow the enemy Satan to steal my life but has made me to be an overcomer. I am a survivor!
PS: Prior to the medical developments I was working away from home from 4 to 7 weeks at a stretch which was hard on the family. My wife prayed for a way for me to be home more often so God answered her prayers in this unusual way. I have been home now for over 2 years and do love being with family full time. So be careful for what you pray about because the answer will appear in unexpected ways! God Bless You!