OAKDALE (CBS13) — An Oakdale man’s family is asking for help bringing him home as he fights the H1N1 virus.

Wayne Albright got sick while traveling for car races, and now he’s hospitalized in New Mexico. His family is trying to get him airlifted back to Oakdale so he can recover closer to family and friends.

He’s known as a friendly face in the small town of Oakdale.

“He’s a big teddy bear,” said Mark Villines. “He’s a big teddy bear; he’s friends to everybody.”

While Albright was on vacation in Oklahoma, Wayne grew ill. His condition worsened and he was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque where he was diagnosed with H1N1 and put on life support.

“It’s just his lungs that are really bad,” his son Dakota Albright said.

Now friends and family are working to raise money to have Wayne flown home so he can be closer to loved ones. They say it will cost $20,000 to airlift him to an Oakdale area hospital.

“As the word gets out, I expect more and more people to come in and help out, help him get back here and help him get back on his feet,” Villines said.

Albright is a race car enthusiast, and his son competes in the car his dad built for him. Many in the Bay Cities Racing Association are hopeful Wayne will have a speedy recovery.

“He’s just a wonderful dad,” Dakota Albright said. “I miss him. I wish he was home right now.”


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