CHICAGO (CBS) — One mosquito bite changed everything for 65-year-old Nancy Lundquist.
That mosquito carried the West Nile virus. Four months after being bitten, Lundquist still can’t walk or even feed herself. But, as CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, she continues to fight.
Her latest accomplishment? Moving her fingers and hands.
“I never lost feeling in my body,” says Lundquist. “I just lost the function of my legs and arms.”
Lundquist was active and happy when she was bitten in her Lincoln Square backyard.
She remembers the bite and swatting the mosquito away. Less than a week later, Lundquist was in intensive care, where she stayed for three weeks.
Lundquist chokes up when recalling her early struggles.
“The first thing I remember, I couldn’t talk.” she said. “I had a tube down my throat. I tried to communicate with people who were visiting. And we had to go through the alphabet and choose letters so I could spell the words.”
It’s an emotional and frustrating time. But Roy, her husband of 38 years, has been by her side throughout.
“It’s up and down every day,” says Roy Lundquist, who has been battling cancer. “It’s a rollercoaster.”
But family, friends and strangers have now rallied together to raise money for her recovery.
“If you can’t do it for your friends, who can you do it for?” muses longtime friend Salome Winge.
The Lundquists are extremely appreciative and grateful for the love they’ve been shown. Insurance will cover some of the ongoing treatment and physical therapy, but not all.
Nancy Lundquist says nothing will stop her, though. She is determined to walk again.
There is a website set up by family where those who want can donate money. Just go to Giveforward.com and search for Nancy Lundquist.
There are also two fund-raisers planned. The first is Dec. 3 and Vaughan’s Pub, 2917 N. Sheffield, in Chicago from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The second is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Sedgwick’s Bar and Grill, 1935 N. Sedgwick in Chicago.
Doctors say only 1 percent of those bitten by a West Nile carrying mosquito get as sick at Nancy Lundquist.