Janine Karamol contracted the West Nile virus from a mosquito bite in September 2006.
WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) - At last count, the Michigan Department of Community Health says there are three confirmed deaths caused by West Nile virus in the state this summer -- and a total of 57 cases.
But even people who survive the disease may not fully recover.
"I still have problems with my leg," says West Nile survivor Janine Karamol of Walker.
Karamol, 54, was infected with West Nile Virus in September 2006. Doctors warned her family she might not make it.
"It was touch and go," says daughter Jennifer Maxim. "We thought we were going to lose her."
Janine survived, but the West Nile infection has left her with lingering health issues. Nerve damage has weakened one of her legs.
"If I'm on the floor it takes everything for me to get up," she explains. "I am unable to carry my grandchildren up and down the stairs. I don't have the strength in that leg."
Janine says she also suffers from memory loss.
"My kids will say something about when they were young and I don't remember," she explains. "I have a lot of memory loss."
"They are stories my twin brother and I remember like it was yesterday," says daughter Jennifer. "She has no idea what we are talking about."
The next hurdle for Janine is knee surgery to repair cartilage damage.
"I have used my left leg so much to compensate for the loss in the right leg that I have a torn meniscus," she says. "They are going to do surgery on my left knee so I can stay strong."
Janine says her son is getting married in December.
She is determined to rebound from the surgery in time to dance at his wedding.
"I will dance at his wedding," she pledges. "As long as I can polka we will be happy."
The West Nile survivor says she doesn't know when or where she was infected by the mosquito carrying the virus. Now she she does what she can to avoid getting bitten and says others should do the same.
"Protect yourself, that's all I can say," says Janine. "It only takes one mosquito. It's scary, what happened to me and I would never want it to happen to anyone else."