By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities father is forced to celebrate the holidays in a rehab facility as he fights back against West Nile virus.

A mosquito carrying the infectious disease paralyzed Andy McBride, 37, in August. Doctors do not know what his future holds.

WCCO-TV found this family has faced hardships before, and could use some help to bring Andy back home.

The snapshots look like a lot of dads might: a love of the outdoors, a wife and two daughters. Only this year, it all keeps Andy focused on fighting.

“He kept saying, ‘I’ll be fine, I just need to sleep it off. I just need to sleep it off,’” said wife Mindy McBride.

Days after a camping trip to southern Minnesota, Andy flew to Las Vegas for a conference. He thought it was a bad case of the flu that kept him in his hotel.

“[Andy said] ’I’m just not strong enough to get up. I can’t get off the floor,’” said Mindy.

Andy ended up at a hospital, where a blood test would confirm a week later it came from a mosquito.

“Did not have West Nile on the radar,” Andy said.

When he woke from a coma, Andy had to face all he lost: full-body paralysis and, for weeks, his voice.

Mindy and Andy McBride (credit: CBS)

“I often say to him, ‘You have the same mind, you have the same heart, and the same soul that I married,’” Mindy said.

That heart has helped the McBrides battle hard times before. Their oldest daughter has a rare disorder known as Angelman syndrome.

“We were told she would never walk, never talk, she’s got seizure disorders,” Mindy said.

Andy has a new appreciation for all his 9 year old has been through.

“How hard it was for her to fight, you know,” he said.

Motivation that keeps a father pushing forward, building back his strength for an uncertain future.

“We want you as strong as you can possibly be so that way you can continue to make gains,” Mindy said.

Doctors say it could take up to two years to see what gains Andy will make. He does about six hours of rehab every day at Courage Kenny. But, his family wants to eventually bring him home.

They will need to make big changes to their home and buy a handicapped-accessible van to make that happen. They are using the hashtag #TeamAndy on social media.

Click here to visit a GoFundMe page set up for the McBrides.

Liz Collin


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