‘Outpouring of love’ helps gay ATL nurse in need

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Friends of a gay Atlanta nurse, fitness trainer and all-around jock are raising funds to help him as he fights a virus that has caused severe medical problems and left him unable to work.

A freak case of viral encephalitis has left Landon Padgett with limited physical abilities and cognitive functions, according to friends. That's a devastating change for the Emory Healthcare nurse who stays active as a CrossFit trainer, Spartan Race participant and once played with the National Flag Football League of Atlanta.

As he battles the virus, he's unable to work and his husband, Tony Shiver, remains in their Chamblee home to provide care. So friends launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $15,000 for medical and living expenses as Padgett recovers. Some 91 donors have raised $9,405 since United We Stand, Because He Needs To was launched on Sunday.

If you've been lucky enough to come in contact with him, you would have realized what an infectious personality Landon has. But sadly enough he was bitten by an unknown bug and has been battling an infection called Viral Encephalitis for the past 8 weeks that has left this once NFFLA football friend and teammate, CrossFit instructor, children's nurse, and most importantly New Husband without the ability to do most everything on his own. Viral Encephalitis has made Landon's brain swell on the left side, causing most thoughts and muscle functions to cease or be significantly reduced. This is a VERY rare case, most come out of this within a few weeks, the doctors are optimistic that the worst is behind him, but could easily be another 8 weeks or so before any of the cognitive Functionality returns. Going through this is extremely hard for someone so active, let alone Tony, who is now working half days from home and providing 24/7 home care. They are in need of us, their friends, family, and community to come together to assist, to assist in taking some of the heavy load off. There is a need for extended home help that will come in a few hours during the week will and allow Tony some time to leave the house and recharge. There is a need for a pre-made meal service and delivery. And there is a need for assistance with bills. They would never, ever ask for assistance from anyone. Please come together and join us in helping, a friend, a family member, a teammate, an instructor, a son, and a husband. Thank you all in advance!

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can cause flu-like symptoms, including a fever or severe headache, as well as confused thinking, seizures and difficulties with senses or movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. Viral encephalitis can be transmitted by insects.

On Wednesday, Shiver thanked friends and supporters “for the outpouring of love and support.”

“I knew that Landon had many friends from football, crossfit and work. But, I had no idea know just how deeply he has touched so many people's lives,” Shiver said.

The donations to the Go Fund Me campaign will allow them to hire a part-time home nurse to help with Padgett's care. Shiver also said that Padgett may soon undergo physical therapy and that they've installed medical equipment to help his recovery.

“I am truly humbled by your kindness and love. Landon is strong. He is a fighter. He is going to beat this thing. And when he does, it will be in no small part to the kindness of those I've known for years and those I'm just getting to know,” Shiver said in his post.

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