Continued from page 1

Gaylord spent nearly a month on life support and only recently left the intensive care unit. At one point, doctors thought he was going to die, said Debbie Gaylord, his wife.

A hospital chaplain baptized the unconscious patient and Gaylord’s son, Jake, arrived from Austin, Texas, to say goodbye.

Hours later, doctors told his family that he had improved.

“Jake got here and all of sudden the next morning he started getting better,” said Andrea Gibb, Gaylord’s niece. “The doctors were like kids in a candy store. They were so excited.”

Gaylord’s case is Oregon’s fifth since 1995. None has been fatal.

The cat’s body was dug up, and tests confirmed it had the plague. Other cats and dogs in the area were tested and none had the disease, said Karen Yeargain of the Crook County Health Department.

Several of Gaylord’s relatives were given preventive antibiotics and will have blood drawn for further tests.

Gaylord is slowly getting better. He is now able to take strolls through the hospital with the aid of a walker, and the family hopes he can return home by October.

The family intends to build a small house on the spot where the manufactured home now stands, using donations.

Debbie Gaylord said she and her husband have never been churchgoing types, but that might change when he comes home.

“We do our praying the way we do it. But now, I don’t know. We might have to rethink the church,” she said.