Eddie white works at a veterinary hospital in Washington County.
He was used to seeing horses come in with eastern equine encephalitis, but never thought he would get it himself.
Now white is in a coma in Birmingham.
Eddie white's family was shocked when they learned he contracted a disease that usually only affects horses.
“The doctors were kind of baffled it was very similar to west Nile virus but he tested negative for that. And then we found out the same day there is no treatment for that so your body has to fight it on its own.” Eddie Whites sister Rosanna Mitchell said.
Not long after, white went into a coma. He's been in one since July eleventh.
But his sister says he has slowly made improvements.
He's now out of the I-C-U and breathing on his own.
“It’s kind of strange but he opens his eyes even though he is in a coma and he will look at you, respond to your voice, he will move his eyes to different people that are talking.” Mitchell said.
Mitchell says this is exciting news. However, the hospital bills are putting a damper on the good news.
That's when Mitchell and white's friends decided to hold a "rags to riches" sale to raise money for the family.
“The community has come together and a lot of the churches have come together and everybody has decided to do a fundraiser to help the family with medical bills.” Mitchell said.
They will be selling clothes, books, and even having a cake auction.
“My family has been overwhelmed with support, we have received emails and facebook messages from as far away as Scotland.” Mitchell said.
“It’s really exciting because so many people cared about my uncle and my family.” Eddie Whites niece Hailey Mitchell said.
Mitchell says it’s great to see the good in people in a time of tragedy.
Mitchell says it may take a long time before white comes out of the coma.
Doctors told her the brain takes longer to heal than the rest of the body.
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