Dryden Thompson

West Nile virus comes from mosquitoes and can cause devastating complications. Before contracting West Nile, Dryden Thompson was a very active, hardworking young man with a fulfilling life. He loved hunting, fishing, and being outdoors. He worked a very physical job as a lineman.

When Dryden contracted West Nile, it drastically changed his life. He arrived at the hospital in August with symptoms of confusion, nausea, vomiting, and a high fever of 104°.

During his hospitalization, Dryden’s condition worsened. He eventually couldn’t breathe on his own and required a ventilator. His brain began to swell, causing seizures, delirium, confusion, and electrolyte imbalances. The virus also caused his heart to swell, leading to arrhythmias and heart failure. After a month in the ICU, Dryden stabilized and transferred to Vibra Hospital of Fargo.

Upon arrival, Dryden couldn’t move his limbs due to quadriparesis or weakness in his limbs. He barely responded to any stimulation due to the brain swelling, and he continued using the ventilator for breathing support.

Dryden made great strides during his time at Vibra. His family was always by his side, advocating, motivating, and cheering him on. His care team worked to wean him off the ventilator, helped him gain more function with improved mobility, and prepared him for the next level of care. After he came off the ventilator, he could communicate with a speaking valve. He can now propel a wheelchair and move all of his extremities.

Throughout the four months of intense work, Dryden came far in his recovery but understands he has more recovery work ahead of him. We are thankful Dryden trusted our staff with his recovery, and we are proud to see him move closer to returning home. Craig Rehab Hospital of Denver will continue to work with Dryden on regaining more function and work towards his goal of independence.

West Nile is a devastating condition.  If you would like to know more about West Nile Virus and how to reduce your risk of contracting this terrible virus, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html