ND West Nile victim continues to stay strong through rehab

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Bismarck local Doug Schirado was diagnosed with the West Nile virus over a year ago. He developed the most serious case, far beyond any other symptoms.

Over a year and a half ago Schirado was diagnosed with West Nile and was put into a coma. Since then, he has been doing physical therapy five days a week. Due to his condition, he had to be airlifted to Denver from Bismarck to continue his rehab at Craig Hospital.

Healthcare providers work with him for six to eight hours every day, and it has been a long and painful process.

Doug’s sister, Julie Schirado tells KX News the physical, speech, and occupational therapy is vital for him right now.

Julie hasn’t been able to go down to Denver because of her full-time job and other many responsibilities she has but says her and her whole family are trying to stay positive.

Julie says, “To get your family member motivated and to keep them fighting is all you’ve got sometimes and keep your attitude in check and we hope we are doing that for him.”

While he’s making great progress, doctors tell the family it’s going to take years for him to recover.

“He loves where he’s at and the therapy he’s getting– it’s hard where he’s at. The therapy he’s getting– it’s so hard on him. I think the pain is unimaginable for someone like you and I that’s never been in that position. Even psychologist come into the room and tell him it’s ok to grieve at where you’re at in life. It’s ok to do that and then you get up and fight the next day but you have to keep fighting,” says Julie.

They have raised between 20 to 30 thousand dollars for his medical bills.

Doug sent KX News a message to thank everyone for the outpour of community support he has going.

“I would like to take brief moment and thank everybody for all the love and support that I have received in over the last year and half. I’m grateful and very humble for everything. Thank you!”

Julie says the therapy there has been amazing for him– especially with his movement.

While he’s making great progress, doctors tell the family it’s going to take years for him to recover.

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