HOUSTON West Nile has killed a fourth confirmed person in southeast Texas.
The man was in his late 70s, lived just outside of El Campo and had underlying medical conditions. Neighbors identified him as William Hawkins.
Wharton County said it s looking into a second possible case. However, an El Campo man said there s no doubt that his wife has the virus.
Bob Randle said his wife Tommie Randle has tested positive for West Nile and is bedridden at Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston.
The 67-year-old had a brain tumor removed two years ago and has since been battling stage 4 cancer.
Bob Randle said his wife was wrapping up chemotherapy and was doing better.
While he was away on business, he got a call that his wife couldn t get out of bed.
Oncologists recommended that she come to the hospital.
An MRI brought no explanation, but Randle said further testing revealed the diagnosis.
We are having to let her system fight it. There is no real treatment for West Nile, explained Bob Randle.
Randle said the odds are not good, but he is holding onto hope.
We didn t go out. We didn t bring anybody into the house. All of those things you do to protect somebody who has an immune problem. We took care of those things, but you can t take care of that odd mosquito, he said.
Randle said his wife of 26 years is on the verge of being unresponsive.
With everything his wife has been through, Randle said he s prepared himself to say goodbye if he has to.
It s tough for anybody. She s survived this long. What you start looking at next: What s going to be on the other side of the illness, he said.