Rick Park

My name is Rick Park. I live in Uniontown, Ohio, with my beautiful wife, Annette, and my two wonderful children, Zach 16 and Marissa 11. My experience with NF started on January 7, 2006. I work in a steel mill and was working the midnight shift that week and went straight to bed when I got home because I wasn't feeling too good. I woke up in the afternoon and noticed a red mark on my arm, but thought nothing of it, since I get bumps and bruises in my line of work all the time. As the days went on my arm and hand started to swell and the pain was getting unbearable. I finally went to the Med Center on Monday, January 9th. The doctor took X-rays to see if I had a sliver of steel in my arm, but nothing showed up. She said that I had cellulitis and prescribed antibiotics. I was taking the pills but my arm and hand was getting bigger and a red line of infection was traveling up my arm towards my chest. I went back to the Med Center on January 11th and the doctor said that I needed to get to the ER. I went to the ER and expected to get IV antibiotics and everything would be okay. How wrong I was! To make a long story short, Dr. T. J. Reilly, a hand specialist, knew exactly what I had and did emergency hand surgery and saved my life and my hand. I am still going to therapy and debridement and a tentitive date for me to get back to work is late February. I really didn't know anything about the disease, but now I realize how lucky I am. I thank God everyday.