Daniel Hammond

This is my story,, My Name is Daniel Hammond I am a thirty six year old male, in perfect health, I am a local truck driver, I am married to my beautiful wife.. I have five children a ten year old son, a six year old daughter, twins, son and daughter at three years old, and a two year old son, yes we have our hands full.. My story begins on the week of August 14, 2005,, I woke up on Monday to go to work, on my way to work I just did not feel good, so I turned around and went back home, and called my boss, telling him I will not be in today I just don't feel good, I went to the urgent care at our clinic, The doctor sent me home with some antibiotics thought it was a start of strep throat,, The next day I called work again said I am still sick and not coming in,, So I went to the hospital ER, They said the same thing, My throat was so soar,, so the next day I woke up and went back to the ER They hooked me up to IV and pumped some fluid in me since I have not been eating or drinking anything. Sent me home with some vicodine, now this is Wednesday.. so Thursday was a rough day my throat was so soar I could not swallow,, I took the turkey baster apart and hooked it up to the shop vacuum cleaner so i could suck the back of my throat out, since it was so difficult to swallow, (my wife did not like that idea though I was so gross) So I woke up on Friday morning really soar in my throat, (wife said soak it up you big baby) I decided to go to a different hospital ER,, I arrived there and they could not find any thing wrong with me, they call in a ear nose and throat doctor he took a x-ray and found oxygen in my soft tissue in my neck,,Not good he said,, He transferred me to a different hospital Froedtert hospital in Milwaukee WI. By ambulance and from the ambulance I went right to the operating room,, they had a team of doctors waiting for me,, They looked me over and said first thing we need to do is a tracheotomy and I need to be a wake for that, that was very scary!! I went into surgery for a neck exploration with irrigation and debridement, I had a # 8 portex cuffed trach was placed at the time of surgery, as were bilateral pen-rose drains in the neck incisions. Postoperative I did well, however I continued to spike fevers throughout hospital. Day 2 and 3 I was taken back to the operating room on hospital day 4 August 22, 2005, for a repeat neck exploration and irrigation and debridement, intraoperative cultures ultimately grew Necrotizing Fasciitis was found, so an infectious disease consult was obtained, and antibiotic therapy was tailored per their recommendations..A consult to neurosurgery was obtained, since my history of cervical spine surgery I had in may of 2004, and the possible involvement of the infection with the cervical hardware, I tolerated that procedure August 22 without any difficulty,, How ever again I continued to spike fevers and continued to have an elevated white count,, A chest X-ray showed possible widening of the mediastinum,, so this prompted a ct scan of my chest,, which showed gas in the mediastinum, with widening, it also showed bilateral atelectasis and bibasilar effusions,,a consult was obtained from a cardiothoracic surgery regarding the air in the mediastinum, They told me that it is possible that they are going to have to crack my chest open to get at the infection,, I was taken back to the operating room on August 24, 2005. This time again I neck exploration and also had a mediastinoscopy performed by the great doctor, Mario Gasparri. They identified the infection in the mediastinum and a pen-rose drain was in the pretracheal plane down into the mediastinum,, I tolerated this procedure again without difficulties,, however I still continued to spike fevers, although they were not as elevated as they have been, I then went to the nuclear medicine clinic had that injected into me and had a very long x-ray procedure, they wanted to know if the infection went into my bones, which later showed nothing (thank god) I then had a repeat CT scan and it showed a potentially undrained area of fluid in the mediastinum.. I was taken back to the operating room on August 26, 2005.. For a repeat neck exploration,, and a repeat mediastinoscopy,, I also underwent the removal of the cervical hardware, I had tolerated these procedures very well (beside all the pain I was in) and remained afebrile throughout the remainder of the hospital coarse.. I also had a NG tube placed in my left side of my nose since I have not eating any thing since August 15, 2005. I advanced my diet very slowly throughout days 8, 9 and 10 without any difficulties. I remained afebrile and a repeat CT scan of my chest was done, on August 29 it showed resolution of the atelectasis,, as well as the bilateral effusions,, I also showed a stable Mediastinum,, I had a PICC line placed, at the request of the infectious disease team for home IV antibiotics, also on August 29, 2005, my trach was downsized to a # 7 uncuffed portex trach which I thought was scary again, I should say the whole thing was very scary, With the help of my friends and family my wife was by my side almost the whole time, My wife went home some time during my hospital stay and looked up this infection and she said she just about feel off the chair,, the doctors treated me with the best care possible and warned me that this a vary fatal infection it scared me very much.. It was the power of the good lord, My Beautiful wife, and the power of my kids prayer and every one else who prayed for me that I pulled through this terrible infection.. I was discharged on August 30, 2005,, I was on home IV antibiotics for about six weeks,, I kind of gave the neurosurgeon a hard time when he said he wanted to remove my plate in my neck since I had just made my last payment on that surgery a month prior to this hospital stay,, All in all the date today is January 10, 2006, I am doing allot better I have gone through a lot of physical therapy three times a week and I am not at work yet but I expect to be back very soon,, (I think my wife wants me back out of the house) In that I think I have covered ever thing in hand, I would not be here today if was not for the doctors that did a great job on me, and my beautiful wife that stood by me and gave me the support i needed my kids did such a great job helping me out where needed,, I would like to say special thanks to the doctors at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Albert Merati, Dr. David Poetker, Dr. David Fisk, Dr. Mario Gasparri, Dr. Shekar Kurpad,, and all of their staff,, and the staff at Froedtert hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.... I know I would not be here today writing this, if it was not for them, thank you so much Dr. Merati, My self and my family loves you so much for saving my life,. If there are any questions any one wants to know or needs support I am always here.. Thanks so much to the NNFF for posting of peoples stories, This was the most scariest thing my wife and my family has went through. Thanks so much,,, With love Daniel Hammond, Of Eagle Wisconsin,, Dadstwns@juno.com