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Last Christmas, Donnie Manry would have never imagined that he would spend this Christmas in a wheelchair, or that a little mosquito could change his life in such a big way.
The Bryan police sergeant contracted the West Nile Virus earlier this year, and since then has been an inpatient at St. Joseph Rehabilitation Center.
"The initial symptoms were very much like the flu. I woke up one morning, neck was stiff and I had a headache. I thought, no big deal, maybe I slept wrong last night," said Donnie Manry.
However, Manry's symptoms worsened, and within a five day period, he found himself paralyzed from the waist down.
Since his diagnosis five months ago, Manry has made great strides.
"When I went in, nothing from the waist down worked. I mean I couldn't move anything, and now I can actually," said Manry. "My left side is a lot stronger, I can work my left leg and it's doing pretty good and can actually hold weight."
Though the road to recovery has been long and hard, Manry's family has remained beside him through it all.
"I couldn't have done it without my family," said Manry. "My wife, bless her heart, just overnight became a single mom, head financier, and I tell you, just overnight, she's held this family together."
On Christmas Day, Manry received one of the greatest gifts of all, being home with family and loved ones.
"The fact that I'm here today, and I'm able to be with my family and open presents and share time, it's indescribable," said Manry. "It's one of the most special Christmas' I've ever had."
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