It was so sudden From being unwell at Christmas dinner to being able to support life on Boxing Day After minutes, gradually, after escalating seconds, a fatal infection set in

Christmas 2018 was a big, hot and hectic family dinner for the O’Dowd family, the screams of the children opening presents, the temperature in Sydney rising to 30 degrees Celsius, crackers and corks popping

Normally he would start the day with a few cans of Guinness with his father, Vince. But Vince remarked “Mick didn’t seem involved in the conversation, he wasn’t like himself”

In the driveway, Mick’s four-wheel drive was full and ready to go.As soon as Christmas was over, he, his wife Katharine, and their two children would hit the road for a delightful four-week camping in the Victorian highlands Mick, a mechanical engineer, had modified the vehicle and added a fold-out kitchen, shelves and drawers

During those busy, happy weeks leading up to Christmas, Mick had felt a pain in his right buttock but attributed it to being an avid cyclist he must have pulled a muscle

Mick took Nurofen, stretched, lay down and sat down, but with everything he tried it hurt more “It just seemed to get worse,” says Katharine. Her mother, Margaret Young, Mick had never had See lying there like this afternoon

That night, Mick says the pain had become “excruciating.” The only thing to do was go into an emergency

Christmas night at Canterbury Hospital was a slow night when a nurse walked over to him Mick moaned in pain. “I remember leaning against a wall outside and just trying to breathe through the pain,” says Mick Endone “actually didn’t do anything”

He was released on Boxing Day at 7:00 am and sent home with pain medication. Katharine was surprised. She could see that he was still in great pain

The ambulance advised Mick to see a family doctor if the pain got worse, but as Boxing Day they couldn’t find an open medical center

Little could they know that they were wasting precious time, time in which everything that was to follow could be undone, or that it would be a year before Mick would go home

Mick doesn’t remember much afterwards. When he drove to the hospital, he felt like he was going to die

Back at Canterbury Hospital, his blood pressure was low, his heart rate was high, and his breathing was shallow.

Things suddenly got serious. He was taken to the resuscitation ward and then taken to Concord Hospital, which was larger with more resources. A stunned Katharine “still didn’t understand what was going on”

Mick has been diagnosed with sepsis, an overwhelming immune response to an infection that spreads throughout the body and affects multiple organs

The infection raced, Mick’s body was shut down. Intensive care staff gave him doses of medication that, according to emergency doctor Paul Della Torre, were “virtually unknown”

Mick was life sustaining. He had a 20 percent chance of making it by morning

“Doctors explained that the initial infection in Mick’s muscles was strep a myositis, just a very common mistake that somehow made it into Mick’s bloodstream and attacked his muscles,” says Katharine

Mick was one of 55000 Australians who develop sepsis each year, at least 7 of them000 will die

“It causes more deaths than some of the most common cancers we know of but more than half the population has never heard of it, “says Simon Finfer, who manages the Australian Sepsis Network

He says that every hour that you delay diagnosis and treatment, the risk of someone dying increases by about 8 percent

“If they don’t give you proper medical treatment in a very small window, it can be fatal,” says Mick. “The death toll is higher than that of the street. The sooner you get to it, the better you will be.” “

Because he was fit and resilient, Mick’s body struggled and reacted in small steps. “At no point did we think it was hopeless,” says Dr Della Torre

It seemed like a miracle to Katharine when he woke up from his coma on New Years Day

“I just remember my hands they were completely black and withered. I just thought, ‘OK, I’m going to have to have amputations because it’s dead tissue and that’s the only way I can survive this'”

“She’s a special person,” says Mick’s father Vince. “I don’t think anyone else would have loved someone she had for them”

Mick and Katharine, mechanical engineers and city planners, met on an internet dating site 11 years earlier

There was a comprehensive questionnaire and he was the first person to be compared to. They met in a coffee shop and hit it off

“I thought he was a really interesting guy who is very capable of having an interesting conversation and interested in what other people have to say. Also pretty comfortable in himself”

He was very fit for biking and diving and they shared passions for the outdoors, camping, cooking and traveling. Your friends could see him making them laugh

For Mick: “I just liked her very much I felt very comfortable around her. She didn’t mind if I had a few beers, which was good. We’d watch sports, rugby or cricket together”

They went on vacation together in India. “That was a pretty good test,” says Katharine. “If you can make it in India and still be friends, you’re on a good cause”

Fast forward to Christmas 2018, they were a typical young family; two children and busy to work “They juggled,” says her friend Julia Pressnick

But now the couple would find out what they were really made of, who they really were

“I struggled to understand what that would mean and what kind of life he would have,” recalls Katharine

She searched the internet and came across a Facebook group for quad amputees called Quad Squad and a blog by Matthew Ames, whose story was remarkably similar to that of Mick

In 2013, Matthew’s bloodstream was infected and the only way to save his life was to remove all of his limbs. He too had a young family and was also an engineer

“On his blog he has pictures of himself with his children after amputations and he is smiling with his family. It was so important to me to see that he was happy after going through this,” says Katharine

He was quick to reply to her email “It gave her hope, some idea of ​​what life might be like,” says Katharina’s mother Margaret

Mick had all four amputations in one operation.But even then, he still had a long way to go. To close the stumps, they had to take Mick’s healthy skin from Mick’s body and create wounds that needed to heal, tighten, and it then do it again

“That time was just difficult, so painful,” says Mick. “I have donor sites – one large one on my chest, one on my back, one on my side, my left side of my chest, and they have skin from my scalp too three times taken “

He was in intensive care for six months and couldn’t speak most of the time because he needed a tracheostomy tube.But Mick got stronger and better every day. When they took the tube out, it was really good to be able to eat again and to be able to speak to Katharine “

It was an emotional day when I left the hospital after eight months The staff, says Mick, “who kept me alive”, everyone came to see him off

“The Concord team went out of their way. There are no words to describe how grateful we are. It was a great moment walking through these doors”

And then there were more exhausting months of rehab at the Prince of Wales Hospital “It’s a step-by-step suggestion,” says Mick. “It’s about setting small goals. My focus was just getting home”

“The whole time I got in touch with Matt and he told me what to expect and how long it would take to find the right prosthesis,” says Mick

“They are both engineers and have very technical conversations that are very involved. Both have amazing spirit and determination and the ability to focus on the next step they need to take to get this done”

“It’s sometimes hard to imagine what life was like before,” says Katharine “But you just adapt every day and look for the positive aspects. I feel happy every day that we still have Mick”

“He’s still the same guy I fell in love with. Still the same strong, determined, brave, funny man,” says Katharine

“I think he’s got some new depths and we’re lucky to have behind us the family, community and friends that we have”

Mick takes the kids to school in his fast power wheelchair. “I think I’ll have some good mechanical hands in the next few weeks, and as soon as I have arms and hands I can go on with the legs,” he says You might have a special vehicle in a year or so “

A Few Minutes Can Change Your Life Mick and Katharine don’t deal with the lost hours on Boxing Day 2018 that could have been different if doctors had been trained to look for sepsis, but she and Matthew are determined to raise public awareness so that this doesn’t happen to others

You are working with intensive care specialist Professor Finfer, who through the Australian Sepsis Network has taken on the task of improving the healthcare system’s response to sepsis

“This knowledge, expertise and training in the detection and rapid treatment of sepsis needs to be disseminated throughout the healthcare system – the ambulance officer, general practitioner, or emergency room,” says Professor Finfer

“And we need people who know when they have an infection, to know if it is something more serious that it is developing into sepsis, and they have to get themselves to the hospital for an early one Receive treatment To actually tell the staff you meet, ‘Could this be sepsis?’ “

Mick would love to work on cars again, camp and dive in the bush. He remembers the “glorious” sunrises on the shallow seas that come out through the heads of Sydney Harbor

“The Google Smart Home stuff for people with disabilities is fantastic. I have a lot of voice control around the house. I can turn the heating on and off, turn the lights on and off, and move the blinds up and down. I am working on drapes for the Bring opening and closing. I can get wheelchair taxis. I have a lot of independence. ”

Five years ahead of Mick on his own journey after the amputation, Matthew is confident about Mick’s future

“Mick is the type of guy who makes these decisions to focus on the things he can do and looks for opportunities in any situation So my experience with Mick and Katherine is that I think it’s them will go well “

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Sepsis

Weltnachrichten – AU – A silent killer who is mistaken for sore muscles almost cost Mick his life

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-23/mick-odowds-strength-in-face-of-quadruple-amputation/12833718