Wayne LeFevre

I live in Vermont and I am an aircraft mechanic, 36 years old, married, 3 kids ages 12 to 7. I was feeling fine one Friday night in late October, 2003. In the middle of the night I remember waking up just shaking. Freezing. Saturday Morning I went to the emergency room. They thought I had the flu or the like. My right shoulder really hurt, but the flu comes with aches and pains, right? Went home, went to bed. Sunday morning, and this is where it starts getting a little fuzzy for me, I went back to the ER because my shoulder started to swell. Well, our little hospital's CT scan was broken, so they took some cultures and gave me a bed upstairs. The swelling was starting to creep up my neck, and they started getting worried. They gave me a morphine pump for the pain. Sometime in the middle of the night they moved me to ICU, and early Monday morning I was being sent by the largest ambulance I've ever seen to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, part of the ivy league school Dartmouth in New Hampshire. I went straight into surgery. The next thing I remember is waking up 12 days later. I was intubated the entire time. (Actually intubated a total of 4 times.) Two chest tubes were hooked up - pneumonia and collapsed lung, heart problems - 130 BPM and they couldn't get it down, Two large hunks missing - 1 on my right upper chest and shoulder, 1 under my armpit, and on a steady IV of Penicillin and fentanyl. Finally got out of the hospital, official diagnoses, Necrotizing Fasciitis with Toxic Shock Syndrome. Went home to a nurse coming twice a day to change the wet to dry bandages, and wife and kids still thinking I'm going to kick it any day! Well, that's my sordid story. Thanks for listening. Take care, and remember, you can leave this life at any time, at any age. You've got to ask yourself, how are you going to leave it? I've thought about this a lot since I got sick. Matter of fact, it almost happened to me. It can be frightening, unless you've lived your life like you've wanted, not like other think you should, or to make a buck or try to impress others.. It's really not about that. Luckily, I discovered that a couple of years ago, and have been happy