Clovis Unified Baseball Coach Recovering From West Nile

Clovis Unified Teacher and Coach Tim Thiessen has been in the fight for his life against the West Nile Virus.{} But he's on the mend and KMPH Fox 26 News spent Wednesday afternoon talking about his recovery at San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital.

"Well I'm coming back.{} Praise God I'm coming back." Thiessen is a man of faith who spent nearly the entire month of August battling West Nile.{} Thiessen was in Southern California at a baseball clinic when he began to feel ill.{} "The ceiling started spinning in the hotel I was in down south.{} Next thing I new I was on the floor and had to get rushed to emergency.{} Long story short it's been a life changing experience for me."

It wasn't long before the Granite Ridge teacher and baseball coach faced the biggest battle of his life.{} Doctors checked him into intensive care.{} His fever climbed to 105 and he needed three days lying on an ice blanket to get it to come down.{} Tim's wife Denise carries a long list of complications caused by the West Nile Virus, including arm weakness, urinary retention, Bell's Palsy and a type of acute neuropathy. "It was after the fact that I realized I was fighting for my life."

Thiessen has been busy as the rehab hospital with occupational, speech and physical therapy. "I can expect to be fatigued real easily for the next two to three months as I regain my strength."{} Thiessen says he has no idea when he'll be able to return to Granite Ridge Middle School.

Thiessen has coached three area high schools to Valley titles.{} He believes hard work pays off in the end.{} As he works to recover he remembers the encouraging words of his college baseball coach, Fresno State's Bob Bennett.{} "He used to talk about minor setbacks and this is just a minor setback.{} A little bump in the road and we'll get through it."

After more than four weeks in the hospital medical bills are starting to mount.{} Click here if you would like to donate to the Coach Thiessen fund.