It was  65 days of grueling treatment and rehab, in three different hospitals, but a man from  Onaway, Michigan is a survivor. He's alive!
Gary Shepherd battled encephalitis, severe swelling of the brain, brought on by West Nile Virus for nearly three months.

Fox 17 reports that he's back home in Onaway, after completing rehab at Mary Free Bed. But, it was a harrowing experience.

He was picked up in an ambulance and taken to Petoskey. As his brain swelled, getting  much worse, he has no recognition of what happening.

He was unable to write his name, and could hardly walk. He was then taken to Mary Free Bed Hospital here in Grand Rapids. Now, Gary can do all of those things.

Gary said, “the therapists there were just flat out amazing. They don’t give you any breaks. You see at least four therapists a day, sometimes as many as six…they’ll give you all you can handle."

During this time, Gary and his family thought he might never be able to return to his normal life. It was so bad that Gary's daughter's were told they had to have a plan to Mary Free Bed to provide 24/7 care for him after he left their facility for a minimum of 6 months, and as long as a year.

That didn't happen! His recovery was fantastic. After about a month inpatient and a stint in outpatient rehab, he returned home to his farm this past February and is back doing what he loves.

His neurologist from Mary Free Bed, doctor Yablon, graduated him. Gary was told he had made as full recovery as they can imagine.

Amazing! It's so nice that there are actually, in these times, stories with happy endings!

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