Northwood Man Discusses Bout with West Nile Virus

Jay Reckley wasn't expected to live after West Nile Virus hit.
Jay Reckley wasn't expected to live after West Nile Virus hit.

NORTHWOOD -- The cooler temperatures this week have actually helped to slow down mosquito activity, but still, the area is seeing a large outbreak. And mosquito control crews are working overtime, reports News 11's Shelley Brown.

Many people are being cautious, but for one family, being outdoors is out of the question.

Jay Reckley of Northwood was 46, healthy and full of energy until August 2005, when, out of the blue, he suffered a seizure, became very ill and tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Two years later, he still feels the pain.

The Reckleys used to love being outdoors, working in the yard and hanging out at the pool. But life is much different now.

"I was sitting here watching a football game on a Sunday afternoon and that's all I remember," says Jay. "I started having seizures" and the next thing he knew, he was in the hospital on a respirator -- and declining.

Doctors told his wife, Therese, that he probably wouldn't make it. After a week of not knowing what he had, Jay tested positive for West Nile Virus.

"People would ask me 'was he fishing,' 'was he hunting,' 'does he go out of the country'? No, he's right here by Lake Erie by Northwest Ohio and this is where it is," says Therese.

The Reckleys couldn't believe it. They had a lot of questions, but they say doctors had few answers. Jay had very little energy, and 12 hours of sleep wasn't enough. Today, he's back at work and doing much better, but his immune system is still weak and his memory is not the same.

"I had scarring on the brain so you know it affected ... my memory," Jay says.

"We're not out in our yard like we used to be. We're a lot more cautious than we used to be," Therese explains. In fact, going outdoors now is almost out of the question.

But if they do go outside, spraying down with mosquito repellent is automatic. Good advice according to experts.

In fact, the Toledo-area mosquito control folks are taking hundreds of calls for service requests. These days, mosquito traps that normally see 25 mosquitoes are getting more than 1,000.

Posted by KO