"My doctor was blunt, he told my wife in 2-3 weeks he's gonna be better or he's gonna be gone," said Fortner.
He spent days in and out of the hospital. Doctors couldn't bring down his fever and no treatment would work.
"So they tested me for everything under the sun, they thought their might be an infection, they wanted to take out my gall bladder," said Fortner.
But turns out, it was West Nile Virus.
"He didn't want to send anything off to the CDC in Atlanta because he said by the time we get it back and you get to stage 3 it won't matter and you won't be with us anymore," said Fortner.
So doctors went to work, and fast. They gave him IV's for fluids and nutrients.
"All together it was about 3 and a half weeks before I got over it and then I came back to work and I was about 60%."
Fortner said he's frustrated because it all could have been prevented.
"Use the spray, there's no reason and the protections out there, yeah there may be 9 cases here or 50 cases in Dallas or whatever the stats are it doesn't matter when you become that statistic, it's terrible. And I firmly believe, that if I wasn't as young as I am, that I wouldn't have survived this, there's no way, I mean it's the worst thing I've ever been through."
And he'll keep going through, because the virus stays in your system.
"And the big thing long term is just your strength and your stamina and kind of who you are, I mean I don't know if I'll ever have the energy I used to have, and I'm still a young man, and they told me, it could be life altering," said Fortner.