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Oklahoma boy is home months after West Nile diagnosis

Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 19:56:15-04

An update to a story we first told you about last year. An Oklahoma boy who became deathly ill after catching West Nile Virus in September.

Months and many prayers later, Tristyn is now home. While his life is very different now, his family is thankful he’s alive.

Once lively and energetic, now bed-ridden, yet healing.

West Nile changed Tristyn’s life drastically. But he’s home.

“It's been we still got a long ways to go -- he's blind and he's still on the ventillator and he's still feeding tube dependent,” mom Erin Ritchie said.

His mother is hopeful that if he could get this far, his progress gradually will continue.

“I think with the grace of God and with God by your side that we will get further again,” Erin Ritchie said. “We do have more arm movement and wake more movement and he's awake more and so he's doing better.”

It was September when Tristyn got sick.

This is a video of him prior to his West Nile diagnosis. Erin remembers it well.

"It was September when he woke up,” she said. “He went to school and you know he was your typical little boy -- less than 24 hours later he wasn't. Within 24 hours after that -- his vision was gone and he was put in ICU within 24 hours of being put in the hospital.”

And from there, it was touch and go. But finally a glimpse of hope -- Tristyn’s state is getting better.

“He was at OU Children's until November and he went to Bethany rehab,” Erin said.

And now he’s home.

“He's actually thriving and doing better,” Erin said. “All the prayers and support has definitely brought him a long way.”

And she’s sharing his story one again, in hopes of helping others. It’s a warning she hopes everyone will heed.

“I want to just let all you parents out there know mosquito season -- don't take it as a joke,” she said. “Do use the off spray and protect your children cause in a heartbeat this could happen.”

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