An East Texas family is spending their Thanksgiving holiday at Children's Medical Hospital in Dallas, waiting for their son to come out of a coma.
Wade Gamblin, a 12-year-old from Lindale, has West Nile Meningitis.Gamblin has been in the ICU since November 13.
"He woke up and he couldn't remember anyone's name and I think he couldn't move his right arm at all. Then, he just collapsed and that's when they took him to his doctor. Their doctor told them to go to Trinity Mother Frances and that's where they induced a coma just because they didn't want him to be in a lot of pain," says Blaire Hampton, Gamblin's cousin.
Gamblin was having violent seizures and his temperature and blood pressure are still periodically spiking. He was airlifted to Children's in Dallas, where he is still in a coma.
"They're expecting him to wake up but they haven't told us what they are expecting him to be like when he wakes up," Hampton says.
Gamblin's family thinks he may have gotten the disease while on a camping trip in Frankston.
There are two kinds of West Nile virus, West Nile fever and West Nile neuroinvasive disease. West Nile meningitis falls under the neuroinvasive disease category.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Ed Dominguez says Gamblin's age is in his favor.
"Younger folks have a much better chance of significant, if not full, neurological recovery than older people," says Dr. Dominguez.
Right now, the focus is on Gamblin's survival.
"At this stage the most important thing is to try to keep him alive and then once we're past that part of the battle we can focus on parts of rehabilitation," says Dr. Dominguez.
Gamblin's cousin says it's tough on the family to have him so far from their support system.
"It's really hard for them to be away from home and have to be so far away from their other family that could support them," Hampton says.
If Hampton could tell her cousin one thing she says it would be that she loves him and wants him to hold on.
A donation account is set up for Wade Gamblin at First Convenience Banks all over East Texas.
The family says you can also drop off non-perishable snacks at the bank locations, which will help the Gamblin's cut down on the cost of eating out while they stay in Dallas.
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