ATLANTA, Ind. (WISH) — A rare blood infection left a Sheridan firefighter in the hospital for 18 days with doctors wondering if he’d make it. Now, the family says the financial burden is quite overwhelming.
Greg Wilson has been with the Sheridan Fire Department for 23 years. He’s always wanted to help those around him, but never did he think those same people would be there for him when times got tough.
His parents own Wilson’s Farm Market off U.S. Highway 31 and 256th street near Atlanta. Customers have showed their support by giving back.
“I remember when I was a kid they used to do a market in Carmel and that’s kind of how everything started,” he said.
Wilson grew up working in the store and that’s where he met his wife.
“Now we’re married with kids,” Wilson’s wife Leslie said. “It kind of funny how things work out.”
On March 23, Wilson had trouble breathing. His wife knew something was wrong.
“Absolutely, I was scared to death,” Wilson said.
The father of four complained of pain around his neck. His wife immediately rushed him to the hospital. That next morning, doctors did blood work and discovered his white blood cell count had tripled. Doctors rushed the firefighter into surgery and warned him there was a good chance he would wake up on a ventilator.
“They went in and did surgery and found nothing to drain,” Wilson’s wife said. “They were just puzzled. There was nothing. He was that 10% that woke up on a ventilator. If you had told me then that I would say goodbye to him and then I wouldn’t see him for 18 days, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Doctors thought it could be fatal.
“They told me if a different procedure didn’t work, that was our last option,” the mother of four said.
Doctors still don’t know the cause of the infection, which has left the Wilson family a bit uneasy.
“That’s in the back of my mind all the time,” Wilson’s wife said.
Last Saturday, community members donated $3,000 at a breakfast held by the Ladies Auxillary and Sheridan American Legion.
“It is a little bit stressful,” the firefighter said. “All the bills are pouring in every day.”
“With neither one of us working, the bills don’t stop, they just don’t stop,” Wilson’s wife said.
Both parents are hoping to get back to work.
Wilson begins physical therapy this week to build strength in his legs. The family has already spent the $3,000 raised on the first two medical bills and they expect quite a few more.
If you want to help the family, there’s a donation box at Wilson’s Farm Market off U.S. Highway 31 and 256th Street.