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Local mom raising awareness after son dies from Valley Fever

Posted at 8:25 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 23:33:33-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas mother says her son died from Valley Fever and she now wants to help raise awareness.

"What I miss about him is him coming through the house and telling me he is home," Phoebe Fletcher said.

No matter where you go in Fletcher's home, you see photos of her son Guierre Walton - memories of a life taken too soon.

Guierre died this past January, at the age of 26.

The mother of two said her son died of Valley Fever.

RELATED: National Weather Service shares Valley Fever information

"I wish we could've done more for him, I couldn't do anything," she said.

Valley Fever is a disease you can get by breathing in spores from fungus in the soil, and it was difficult for Fletcher to watch her son's body break down right before her eyes.

"Guierre use to weigh 165. He had got down to 120 then 98 pounds," Fletcher said.

Dr. Daliah Wachs told 13 Action News that Valley fever is common in the Las Vegas area and other desert communities.

However, in Guierre's case, the family had no idea what they were dealing with as Fletcher said even the doctors were confused as to what was going on.

"He would say he was just tired," Fletcher said. "But I told him he must fight."

After a couple of months of tests and doctor visits, the family learned Guierre's illness was Valley fever.

"Most cases may go away on their own; some of them you need antifungals, but in very rare cases, it can be deadly," Wachs said.

Now, Fletcher wants the community to know about the disease and for those to take care of it as early as possible.

"I just want everybody to be aware of the diseases dangers," she said.