MRSA - My Story - - Jackson, MS

MRSA - My Story

Valerie Moore Singh

In January of this year I found out I had staph after having surgery on my C-spine to replace 3 ruptured discs.  I was not told by my surgeon that I had MRSA, only that "I didn't have the bad kind of staph".  That keeps playing in my mind as well as wondering why he chose not to tell me the truth. I was kept in the hospital for 10 days on several  antibiotics around the clock.  I was released with a picc line in my arm to receive 6 more weeks of Vancomycin.  At the end of the 6 weeks, the picc line was removed and I later found out (the hard way) that I should have had blood cultures drawn to make sure the cultures were negative.

Seven months later, on August 8th, I was taking my son to a doctor's appointment in another city when I developed a splitting headache.  That is my last memory for many days to come.  Apparently for 3 days I was living my life with absolutely no memory of what transpired during those days.  My landlord decided to check on me after not seeing me or having seen my car move for 3 days.  She found me unconscious on my kitchen floor.  How long I had been there, no one knows.  She told me later that I was "talking out of my head" after I came to.  I was rushed to the Emergency Room and was admitted to ICU.  My diagnosis was rhabdomyolsis, acute kidney failure, seizures, and staph induced septicemia.  It had infected my bloodstream and kidneys. My family were told I would not make it and that the doctor had done all he could do.

I did "make it" and was started on dialysis for the kidney failure and Oxacillin for the staph/sepsis which I have now read is ineffective in the treatment of MRSA.  I was on that antibiotic for 67 days.  Thankfully, after 3 weeks of dialysis, my kidneys began healing on their own, thus negating the need for the kidney transplant I had already started the paperwork for.

I decided to get my medical records from my hospital stay as I couldn't remember most of it.  I felt I needed to know what had happened, what tests had been done, how diagnosis' were made.  In those records I discovered that I had MRSA (Methicillin resistant Stapylococcus aureus), the staph that I had been told in January was not "the bad kind of staph".

I realize how fortunate I am that I was blessed with living through this experience as many, many others have not.  I feel very strongly that, if there isn't one in existence already, there should be a foundation for research to find a cure and for medical costs that are incurred by this, often times, fatal illness for people who live through it and have no insurance or medical coverage of any kind and find themselves fighting MRSA.

This country is facing an epidemic of MRSA.  It has been reported that more people die of MRSA than of AIDS in the United States.  If this true, why isn't this receiving the same recognition, education and awareness as AIDS or any other life threatening disease? Education, awareness and a cure for MRSA is critical and needed now more than ever.

We, as a community, as a nation, should do all we can to educate ourselves about MRSA as this is not only found in hospitals but other public places as well, most recently in schools in West Virginia where a young boy lost his life to MRSA.

I am speaking out because I would never want anyone to have to go through what I did because of MRSA.  I would like to know that no other family will have to lose a loved one to MRSA.

Educate yourself and your family about MRSA; it's prevention, causes and risks, symptoms and types, treatment and care.  Education is important.  Education is vital.

Al McCormick

My son is attending college in the Jackson area and has had staph 5 times and never seems to get rid of it. Is there someone, possibly a doctor of infectious diseases, who is investigating individuals with MRSA several times?

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