Help Will Hotch Jump Again

Early last month Will Hotch captained the Staples High School volleyball team to an undefeated season, and the state Class L championship.

A couple of weeks later, Will graduated from Staples. He headed off for a summer as a counselor at an overnight camp. He looked forward to college in the fall.

Will Hotch (left) in action for the Staples volleyball team. (Photo/Justin Weekes for Meriden Record-Journal)

Suddenly last week, he became gravely ill.

His body and immune system were adversely affected by Epstein-Barr virus. Antibodies attacked his immune system, leading to post-infectious myelitis.

Will’s spinal cord was damaged, causing severe numbness below his neck. He cannot feel or move his legs at all.

He will undergo a second procedure as soon as possible, to stabilize him and start him on his road to recovery.

Will hopes to attend college, and return to his active lifestyle.

He and his family have endured a lengthy ICU stay. It will continue for the foreseeable future, with several expensive procedures. When he starts to improve, he will require in-patient rehabilitation.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help defray those costs. It will also be used to help with missed wages for his parents as they support him during this difficult time. Many Westporters know Will’s mother Denise — she’s a group fitness instructor at the Westport Weston YMCA.

Click here to help Will, and his family.

12 responses to “Help Will Hotch Jump Again

  1. Susan Thomsen

    I wish William and his family all the best. Sending good thoughts and positive energy for your recovery.

  2. John McCarthy

    Sending out prayers to William and his family.

    The McCarthy Family

  3. Denise Duhl Hotch

    Thank you so much for this very kind post, Dan. And a big thank you to our incredible community who is showing an abundance of kindness and support. We are forever grateful!

  4. Has Will been tested for Lyme disease? Viruses may be activated in the presence Of Lyme disease. Lyme brings in many co-infections including EBV and can activate other infections due to an immune compromised state that a patient can develop from untreated chronic infections. In my case Lyme activated the EB and CMV viruses. Please note that it is also VERY common to test negative for Lyme and have it. I went untreated for 6 years, having tested negative, and was horribly sick for 10 years, with all kinds of crazy horrible crippling symptoms. I am left with chronic fatigue, psoriatic arthritis and simple partial epilepsy.
    With all due respect to doctors (or not), many refuse to acknowledge this debilitating disease. I basically had to figure it out myself, design my own treatment and fight for my own life.
    Google the heck out of this and don’t be afraid to challenge doctors.
    I hope this has been helpful.
    Hang in there Will.

    • Denise Duhl Hotch

      Thank you so much! We are grateful for your message and insight, both of which are very much appreciated!
      The Hotch Family

  5. Lisa Masse Bremmer

    Sending support to Will and the Hotch Family at this difficult time. We learned of his situation through a friend of ours who shared his story here in Atlanta. Originally from Connecticut, we appreciate the level of work & competitiveness Will has demonstrated in a sport which both our sons play here in Georgia. May God keep Will in his protective arms, for safety and healing.
    The Bremmer Family

    • Denise Duhl Hotch

      Thank you for your message! This means everything. We truly appreciate your kindness and prayers.
      Forever grateful,
      The Hotch Family

  6. Teri Larkin

    Praying every day for Will (and in the middle of the night when I wake up) He and the family are so on my heart. I’m sorry you guys are going through this….I can’t imagine how scared you are. Know that there are a TONS of people praying for you.

    • Denise Duhl Hotch

      Thank you so much for your incredible message, kindness and support, all of which are truly appreciated.
      Forever grateful,
      The Hotch Family

  7. Caroline Elizondo

    We’re wishing you lots of positive thoughts and prayers. My twin daughters were classmates of Will and we are wishing him a very fast recovery. my heart is with you. Caroline