Valley mom recovering from West Nile virus, warning others after 2 deaths in Maricopa County

Posted at 10:04 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-20 01:10:12-04

Most people seem to be concerned about Zika these days, but the reality is, the risk is much higher for West Nile Virus.   

Trish Beattie is home after two months in the hospital but she's still pretty weak. She sometimes uses a walker to get around, and at times, has trouble holding up her head.

She thinks a mosquito got her while she was hiking or doing yard work. The irony is she actually makes her own natural insect repellant, but she had run out.

"I remember getting bit by a mosquito, cause I remember slapping my arm, but I didn't think anything of it," said Beattie.

She went from feeling like she had the flu to being rushed to the hospital to temporary paralysis. The West Nile virus eventually led to Meningitis.   

"I came to and I was like, ‘What happened to my face, what happened to my face?’ It looked like I had a stroke, it had dropped."

Beattie is young, a preschool teacher, and a mother of three. She's not elderly and does not have previous health complications that health officials typically associate with complications.

"I have that little fear in the back of my head 'what if this is it?' But I can't think like that I have to convince myself to stay positive, that this isn't it, that I will be back,” Beattie said.

Beattie is making big strides towards her recovery and doctors are optimistic she could be back to teaching in January, eight months after her diagnosis. It’s time lost she wouldn’t wish on anyone so she has two words of advice: bug spray.

Until then she is out of work and raising three boys and the medical bills are overwhelming so her friends have set up a fundraising account for anyone willing to help.

You can fight the bite by also wearing long sleeves whenever possible, particularly if you are outside in the early morning or evening hours. After a rainfall walk your property to make sure there's no standing water in planters, kids toys, old tires or anything else outside that can collect water. Keep your pool clean. Dead birds in your yard are also a red flag.