He won a girls state basketball championship in Utah. Now he's fighting for his life.
High school head coach Acey Shaw is battling a very rare disease after saving the life of of a baby calf. When he's not coaching at southern Idaho's Dietrich High School, Shaw works on his Idaho ranch during the week. On a cold morning the day after winning the state championship, Shaw spotted a little calf that was cold, so Shaw placed the bovine animal "in his truck to warm it up," according to his wife, Jalyn.
In order to save the small animal's life, he drove around his farm with the newborn calf in the cab of his truck, making sure the heat was blasting, circulating the air throughout the enclosed space of the pickup, according to KTVB-TV Boise.
This is a part of the routine for a rancher, but this time it would turn out to be very different. A couple of days later, coach Shaw woke up with a sore back. Then, a week later, he was paralyzed, unable to walk. His family took him to the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City to figure out what was wrong.
It took weeks and dozens of tests to solve the medical mystery of what had gone so terribly wrong for the beloved basketball coach. The medical team was able to diagnose Shaw with Q Fever, a bacterial infection that is extremely rare in humans, in addition to Chlamydia/Pheunomia. Doctors determined that the rare affliction came from breathing in the same air as the diseased calf while driving around in his truck that chilly morning.
Jalyn Shaw says doctors had no clue how to treat her husbands disorder since it's rarely passed from beast to
man. Shaw tried a number of different treatments, and none of them worked. It got so horrible that at one point he lost feeling in his arms and legs, went blind, and was placed on life support.
After five months, doctors finally found treatment that helped Shaw, and he was released from the hospital. He's not healed by a long shot -- Shaw still can't use his left arm or leg, can't walk, and struggles to talk. But he has his wife and family by his side as he recovers.
With no workman's comp and maxed out insurance, Shaw's family is facing a financial nightmare with medical costs. The good news, KTVB reports, is that the Magic Valley, Idaho has jumped to help out with food, money and fundraisers.
"I'm going to try and to win the championship," Shaw said. "I was close to being dead, I'm still here because of prayers and a lot of good people."
Doctors don't know how much better coach Shaw will get because of the rareness of his disease.
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