Arlington teen battles West Nile... and wins

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 12 at 2:59 PM

ARLINGTON — The Conner family is finally home. But Jordan spent Saturday asleep on the couch, with identification bands from her hospital stay still wrapped around her wrist.

"She's not one to be afraid," said her mother, Ebonie Conner.

Jordan Conner is proof that even a fearless 15-year-old is not immune from the West Nile virus epidemic sweeping across North Texas.

"It's kind of like the flu, only I kept getting headaches... couldn't feel body parts," Jordan explained. "Like when I walked, I didn't have balance; it felt weird."

Jordan remembers getting a few mosquito bites a month or so ago while on the patio of her North Arlington home. She started feeling like she had a cold, which progressed to headaches, then body aches, then extreme fatigue.

That's when her mom started feeling extreme fear — even if Jordan wasn't.

"This time last week, she almost died," Ebonie said, adding that prayer and a fighting spirit got them through. "It's by the grace of God."

Jordan didn't realize how sick she was. "I thought they'd give me a shot and I'd get better," she said.

Ebonie sat by her daughter's bed in the intensive care unit and tried to keep Jordan awake, worried if she fell asleep, she wouldn't wake up.

"We had a deal: Jordan had to stay alive, alert, and stay active," her mom said.

They sat together on a couch at home Saturday, much like they sat together in a hospital bed.

Three weeks have now passed since Jordan first got sick. There were eight days in the hospital, and there will be many more days of rehabilitation.

Now bills are piling up and Ebonie Conner is off work as she keeps watch and keeps worrying.

"When she says her head hurts, do you need to take her back to the ER?" she wondered.

Jordan is an honors student and said she believes she'll be ready for school on the first day, but her mother isn't sure about that. "It's just been unimaginable," she said.

Jordan feels lucky. "I'm thankful for all the nurses that helped me, the friends who came to see me, and for the people who prayed for me," she said.

The Ebonie Conner Contribution Account has been established at Woodhaven Bank to help the family with the expenses they now face. Donations can also be made online.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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