LaPorte man dies after West Nile virus infection

2013-03-11T17:30:00Z 2013-03-11T19:49:10Z LaPorte man dies after West Nile virus infectionStan Maddux Times Correspondent
March 11, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

A LaPorte man who contracted West Nile virus last summer has died.

Ronald Lawson never returned home after falling ill. He died Friday night at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.

"He'd have good days and he'd have his bad days," said his wife, Cleda Lawson.

The 66-year-old Lawson contracted the virus in August.

Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus to humans, and family members speculated he must have contracted West Nile while sitting on the front porch of his home in the 100 block of Laurel Street.

During his treatment, Lawson used a ventilator and was unable to speak, Cleda Lawson said. He spent time at various hospitals and nursing homes in and outside the area, she said.

He regained his ability to speak, but was never able to breathe on his own for extended periods. His condition deteriorated so much recently that she directed doctors to unplug the machine Friday, she said.

"It was a hard thing to do, but I got tired of seeing him suffer all the time," she said.

At least three Indiana residents died of West Nile virus in 2012.

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