By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities man, paralyzed by the West Nile virus, has made incredible progress.

The mosquito-born disease struck Andy McBride, 37, last summer, nearly taking his life. But, the dad from Rosemount has since made amazing strides.

The tubes, machines and blank stares mark the darkest days of Andy McBride’s life, but a tiny mosquito is no match for a strong, successful father.

“Andy’s doctor said to him, ‘I can’t believe you’re here. I continue to read your reports from Las Vegas and you shouldn’t be here,’” Mindy McBride, Andy’s wife said.

After a family camping trip in southern Minnesota last August, Andy flew to Las Vegas for a conference. He thought it was the flu that kept him in his room.

But a blood test would later confirm a severe case of West Nile virus and full-body paralysis that doctors didn’t know if he’d ever recover from.

“The good signs of such progress were promising,” Andy McBride said.

“That positivity and pushing has gotten us where we are,” Mindy McBride said.

Where they are is nearly eight months later. The length of time Andy lived apart from his wife and two daughters at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute enduring hours of intense rehab.

Leading to major milestones and finally just last week, leading back home.

The McBride’s have spent thousands of dollars to make major changes to their house to have Andy here.

The small things like feeding himself and brushing his teeth are behind him now.

“All of a sudden those small ones start adding up to bigger ones,” Andy said.

It’s the same approach this family has taken before. Their oldest daughter has Angelman Syndrome and isn’t able to speak.

“We were told our daughter would never walk. We were told you’d never walk. We rise to the challenge,” Mindy said.

A challenge they remain determined to meet.

“What’s the word when you can’t do something? Yet. I can’t do that…yet,” Andy said.

Doctors told Andy his muscles are doing what his brain is telling them to do, so that’s a great sign. It could take up to two years to tell what movement he will fully get back.

If you’d like to help the McBride family with Andy’s recovery, you can visit his GoFundMe here.

Liz Collin


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