Voices: Profiling a Lewis County Man Thrice Revived | News

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Both hands were numb when he woke up one morning. His diagnosis turned out to be very rare. 

Robert Henry Foster was born April 14, 1943 in Pasadena, California. He moved to Longview in 1990 where he worked for Longview R.V. where he met his wife Janice whom he married in 1991. 

No moss grew under Foster’s feet until his marriage as from age 11 to age 21 he did yardwork, magazine sales, Safeway box boy, McGoo’s Pizza, In-N-Out Burger, and six different shoe stores. Thankfully his good wife was able to rein him in a little. 

In 2007 Foster woke up with numb hands. Eight days later he was paralyzed from the waist down and had a difficult time eating. For 10 days the medical profession tried to find what was wrong. Finally it was found that he had contracted two very serious diseases which put him in critical condition. It’s rare to have to battle West Nile Virus and Guillain-Barre’. The latter is an autoimmune disease that attacks the peripheral nervous system. The former disease affects the central nervous system. The health department interviewed him because of the rarity. 

His physician gave Foster a shot that cost $65,000 besides his six weeks of rehabilitation. They had no insurance at the time to cover either, so both were written off. 

Following rehabilitation he still had to use a walker and to this day, he can’t smile due to the long term effects of nerve damage from the Guillain-Barre’. 

The second time Foster flirted with death happed in 2013 at Fort Stevens. He had a difficult time breathing. Taken to Providence Hospital they found he was suffering from CHF and A-fib. After surviving that, his pituitary gland quit working and…

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