Garfield Ridge Dad Fighting Back From West Nile; Seeks Help From Community
By Joan Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
Editor and Publisher
For nearly 30 years, Jeff Walls was known as a union carpenter who never turned down an extra shift.
For the last seven months, the tradesman has been flat on his back, felled by a mosquito bite that gave him West Nile encephalitis and left him completely paralyzed in a hospital bed set up in his Garfield Ridge home.
“My dad has always been an active man,” said his daughter, Ariana, 25, who along with her sister, Lindsey, 22, brother, Nick, 28, and mother, Marisa, provide care and hope for Jeff Walls. “Even after work, he’d use his skills to build things for himself and for others.”
Back in August, he came home from work more tired than usual and chalked it up to the summer heat. The next day, he went to work but came home early. In the days after that, his energy level continued to fall. He started experiencing double vision, was feverish and sweating and seemed to take a long time to formulate answers to questions.
Trips to the emergency room, as well as multiple blood tests, did not yield a diagnosis of West Nile Virus infection, Ariana said.