CRESTVIEW — Kelly and Michelle Stackhouse are glad to have their 7-year-old son, Gabriel, back at home.


CRESTVIEW — Kelly and Michelle Stackhouse are glad to have their 7-year-old son, Gabriel, back at home.



Gabriel, who has a severe case of viral meningitis, returned to Crestview Wednesday after spending 12 days at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where he received a brain MRI, two spinal taps and IV treatments.



“It’s quite a relief to have the family back together,” Kelly Stackhouse said. “What’s most important is that we consider ourselves fortunate to have our son back.”



The Stackhouses noticed something was wrong on the Fourth of July weekend, when Gabriel showed flu-like symptoms including fever and headaches. They took him to North Okaloosa Medical Center and then to Sacred Heart following the meningitis diagnosis.



Doctors told Kelly there is no risk of other family members being infected. However, Gabriel’s parents are concerned about their son’s weight; he lost 9 pounds while hospitalized.



Then there are the bills. The family lacks health insurance, and a gofundme.com account has been set up to offset medical expenses. More than $1,600 of a $20,000 goal has been donated so far.



Family, friends and Victory Baptist Church members also have helped by donating and providing daily meals.



Such acts are common when someone needs help, the church's pastor, Rev. Wayne Matheson.



“We took to (the situation) like a family, which is what a church is supposed to do,” he said.



HOW TO HELP



Click here to donate toward Gabriel Stackhouse's medical expenses>>



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.