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Wife speaks out after Laclede County man dies from West Nile Virus

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 5:08 PM CST
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LEBANON, Mo. (KY3) - A wife is speaking out after her husband died from West Nile virus. It is a story KY3 first reported on back in August.

After five and a half months from his diagnosis, Ronnie Unger died from West Nile Virus and pneumonia. Ronnie had been in and out of multiple hospitals for treatment.

“In the last five and a half months, he’s been in five different hospitals fighting, six different bouts of pneumonia,” said Sheila.

Ronnie and Sheila had been married for more than 13 years. Sheila says his grandkids meant everything to him.

“They were with us, and that was Ronnie’s main thing was his grandkids. That’s what we focus on,” said Sheila.

Ronnie wanted people to know about the West Nile virus and share his story.

“West Nile is not something you think about every day. I heard about it 10 years ago. We haven’t heard much of it ever since. Like Ronnie always said, ‘Why me? Why me?’ It’s hard to answer that. I told him, ‘If it wasn’t you, it could have been one of our grandkids,’” said Sheila.

Before he died, his family decided to donate his organs. They say he was always wanting to help people and got to do so, even after he died.

“We all decided together that we wanted to have Ronnie’s parts donated to whoever to save, help save somebody else’s life. I told them we can help [others] so they wouldn’t have to be in the situation,” said Sheila.

Sheila said she is thankful for the support she has gotten from doctors, nurses, and community members.

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