Fighting MRSA

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

UPDATE:  His tracheotomy was removed and he’s breathing on his own. Has been moved to a long-term care facility, where he’ll continue to recuperate and receive kidney dialysis.

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My stepfather’s son is in his early 40’s. He went from being relatively healthy and having no reason to seek medical care, to suddenly fighting for his life. He has a MRSA infection.

He was unresponsive ten days ago when he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and because he still cannot speak, no one is sure what happened. But we do know that he has MRSA (drug resistant staph infection) in his blood.

The MRSA infection caused pneumonia in both lungs. His kidneys stopped working, and his liver was failing.

The prognosis was “very poor.”

Yet, he fought. Unconscious, in a drug-induced coma, and on a ventilator, he kept going. Dialysis started in the middle of the week to help rid his body of the fluids that had built up. And he fought some more.

They took him off his pain meds, saying he didn’t need them (he was in a coma and unresponsive).

On Wednesday, he was diagnosed with meningitis on top of his other ailments. The doctors said they were surprised that he was still with us.

Then, last Thursday he tried to yawn. By Friday, he astounded everyone by regaining consciousness. Signaling thumbs up, he responded to people in the short periods he was awake.

He was beating this super bug. MRSA is curable, but serious complications set in when it attacks the blood, pneumonia results, or when it invites meningitis into the body. Each is risky–all are critical.

Then Sunday, his right lung collapsed, causing a pneumothorax, a condition where air is released into the chest surrounding the lungs and heart. A chest tube was inserted to relieve the air and he was sedated.

Now, he’s taken a step back, and it’s touch and go. He’s not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.

MRSA can enter the body through an open wound, a pimple, boil, etc. Often, it looks like a bug bite that doesn’t heal and starts draining. However, there are times MRSA can be contacted through the air. There are silent carriers who don’t actually have MRSA who can expose others by coughing. People who do have MRSA can also expose others by coughing, if the infection is in their lungs. And yes, hospitals and medical institutions are high-risk areas of exposure.

Learn what you can about MRSA and seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you or a loved one have MRSA or have been exposed to it. This is a superbug that is super dangerous. Fighting MRSA is a long, uphill battle. Dean always said he was a survivor. He’s now facing the biggest beast that’s ever taken him on. He needs help and time to claim victory. Let’s pray that he has the luxury of both.

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