The story

The day was supposed to be remembered as one filled with happiness. Their daughter, after all, had just turned 2 years old. Instead, Nikki Peterson remembers December 30, 2007 as the day her husband Billy got sick.

Billy Anderson was in fine health until that evening last winter. He woke up in pain and his wife rushed him to the emergency room. Over the next few days, he suffered a number of ailments, from a running fever and hives to swelling joints.

Nikki says she knew there was something wrong when Billy was no longer able to walk around the house. "This is a 6-foot, 240-pound guy who doesn't usually complain about anything," she says.

The couple, from Baxter Springs, Kansas, made three trips to the emergency room. On their third visit, Nikki refused to go home until doctors agreed to keep Billy in the hospital for further evaluation.

Since then, Billy, age 29, has been in and out of intensive care. He's spent time on a ventilator and suffered kidney failure. His body isn't absorbing nutrients, and as a result, his 240-pound frame has been whittled down by 100 pounds. See photos of Billy and his family Read full article »

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