West Nile

Man Walks Again After Recovering From Five Mosquito-Borne Diseases

NBC Universal, Inc.

Taking a walk around the block is nothing to write home about for most people, but for Brett Rose, it is quite an accomplishment.

He recently re-learned how to walk after he was infected with a cocktail of diseases, none of which were COVID-19.

“Went to bed on a Friday night and woke up Saturday paralyzed from the chest down,” Rose said.

Rose and his family had spent two weeks in July vacationing in The Keys. Though they went to great lengths to protect themselves from the coronavirus, Rose never thought he could get a cocktail of other diseases.

"I woke up a week later in the ICU and found out I had gotten West Nile, Meningitis, Encephalitis, Zika and Dengue, so I had a busy mosquito that I danced a little bit with,” Rose said.

The man credits humor with helping him through the recovery process. Four and a half months after getting sick, he took his first steps unassisted and says that the mosquito actually did him a favor.

“It’s like raining leaves. Like I don’t think I ever would’ve stopped and looked at things like that before," said the father of two. "And patience is a virtue that I never had and I say, ‘the greatest gift that mosquito ever gave me was patience’ because now I have no choice. I have to put one foot in front of the other in order to walk."

As a way to show his appreciation, Rose will complete a virtual 3k walk with his family across a span of three days starting Friday to raise money for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, a part of Memorial Healthcare System, which helped save him.

“We have a huge community in South Florida. And I think it’s important not only for these kids, but the kids who are yet to come. We need to make sure we protect them,” Rose said.

You can help support the organization by donating to Brett Rose's team.

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