Schenectady man recounts ongoing struggle after 2013 Legionnaires diagnosis

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It took his career away and changed his life, but a local Legionnaires survivor is speaking out in hopes that his suffering can bring awareness to the disease.

Henry Henderson contracted the disease in 2013. He said ever since waking up in the hospital, he’s been battling the lingering effects.

“It affects your breathing; it attacks your lungs,” he said. “It actually attacks your whole system. It attacks all your organs.”

The 49-year old said he suddenly came down with symptoms during the summer of 2013.

“Feeling nauseous or feeling like you are weak or dehydrated,” he explained. “Come that Friday, I couldn’t move.”

Henderson said he couldn’t get out of bed that day. He felt better the next day, but by Sunday, he collapsed and woke up in the hospital.

“With this type of episode, I should have been gone,” he said.

Since then, he’s had to take medication for blood pressure and seizure disorders. He also uses a sleep apnea machine for his lungs.

“I’m grateful that I’m able to walk, and I had to learn to walk again,” he said.

Henderson used to drive a bus, but now he can’t drive. He said he tries, but he can’t do all he wants with his family.

“My oldest will be 16, you know,” he said. “I want to go play basketball with him, and only thing I can do is walk to the court.”

Henderson also offered advice to others.

“Spend as much time, tell them you love them every day because you never know, you never know,” he said.

Henderson said he is doing better. On Tuesday, he had an appointment with his neurologist, and they will continue testing.

He said it may take six months or forever, but he is grateful to God he is a survivor.

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