The outpouring of community support has been nothing short of tremendous.
More than $24,000 has been raised for Bill Teichman who ran the Tree Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire until he suddenly took ill.
On August 16th Teichman was hospitalized with Eastern Equine Encephalitis and he has been hospitalized ever since.
It’s hard to believe something as small as a mosquito presumably took down someone as big as Teichman.
“Bill’s a big guy. He’s a big gentle giant around here, I don't know, I think he's about six foot four or five,” said Tree Mendus worker Gary Wesolowski.
The farm is big as well, stretching over 500 acres, and Teichmans absence has left some big shoes to fill: two pairs in fact
Given the time his wife spends with him in a hospital room in Grand Rapids.
“Like I said, Bill is, he's the guy that is the backbone of it and Monica's quite a bit of the brain in it and uh, it takes two of them to do it,” Wesolowski said.
Apparently some local growers have helped by spraying the trees and picking up produce.
The more the word gets out, the more help seems to come in.
“It’s just a really, you know a big family tragedy for them
and I hope he does well and comes out of it,” said Eau Claire Village Clerk Shawn Foster.
“And it’s just unfortunate you know that he's sick with this,” added Eau Claire Police Chief Charles Sherene. “And hopefully he's going to come through.”
The community has certainly come through for the Teichmans—raising more than $24,000 in two days through a GoFundMe page.
“It’s very heartwarming that people reach out. I imagine it's going to go a lot higher than that and I certainly hope it does for all they've given into the community it's nice to see that people don't forget it and they know where their roots are,” said Wesolowski.
The triple E virus typically causes brain swelling. While Teichman opens his eyes, he can’t make any movements on command.
His recovery promises to be a long one.