David B

In June of 2001, I received a call from St. Mary's Hospital in Reno, NV. The person on the other end was a surgeon...he told me that my brother was going into surgery and that his chance for survival was 5%. He had no time to go into details...I caught the first plane I could from St. Louis to Reno...my sister and I unsure of what to expect when we got there...what could have happened? We did arrive....10 hours later. He survived the surgery, but the chances of survival were slim to none. His condition was explained to us and the procedure he went through...debridment of the epidermis...and how they would have to go back in again and again, if he survived the first round. We received more information from his friend who had brought him to the hospital. Three days prior he has experienced flu like symptoms...he missed work...which was very unusual for David. When he didn't show up for work on the second day, his friend actually went to his apartment. His bowels had started locking at this point and he was taking stool softeners...he had a high fever...and he had a boil on his buttock which he couldn't see...but said it felt like it was on fire. The morning of the third day he called for help. At this point his testicles had swollen to the size of grapefruit, his bowels had locked up and his buttock was sore to the slightest touch. When he was taken to a small med center at Lake Tahoe, they immediately rushed him by ambulance to a hospital in Reno. Upon arrival they knew immediately what was happening...told him what had to be done...and the phone call was made. He spent three months in the hospital...he survived. He is a miracle. The result of the disease...he lost his testicles...large portion of his left buttock and he now has a permanent colostomy. Arthritis is now setting in rapidly to the joints...but he survived. He had a strong will...and a mental attitude to this day that is amazing. He is trying very hard to adjust to the new life that has been given to him. It is difficult with all the red tape from SSI and other state agencies. They just don't seem to get it. My daughter and I packed up and moved to Reno from St. Louis to take care of him. We have no family here...only the three of us left. And he had no one here...no insurance...no place to stay in Reno..so with much prayer and determination, we made the transition. Basically, he should have been in the hospital longer to undergo physical therapy and rehab, but with no insurance, they basically put him out after they knew it was no longer life threatening...three months later. The day we arrived after a cross country trip we found an apartment and moved him in at the same time. We have all survived...I found work and have been taking care of everything since June of last year. I was very fortunate to find a job in my field...and things have been ok until two weeks ago when the company downsized and they eliminated my position. We are in dire straits at this point until I can find work...no savings left...bills and rent to pay...no help from agencies for him as of yet because we are still battling with SSI and state agencies for disability....can you believe it? A man left in this situation...his whole life changed overnight...his livelihood taken away...but his life spared...and now I feel I have failed him. I am a proud woman, but not too proud at this point to ask for help. I am looking to those who understand what he has went through...what we have all experienced as family and caregivers. If there is anyone there who can give us a helping hand I...all of us would be more than grateful. I don't know what else to do. If you can help us at all...please contact me at thirdtimeround@hotmail.com.