My Story: “The Wonderful Treatment I Received” by Gary Karr
As we close out 2012 here on our blog, we’d like to end the year on a beautiful note – rather TWO beautiful notes – by sharing two submitted pieces written by people we’ve served – one at University of Louisville Hospital; the other at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
The story below is from Gary Karr. (Once you read it, click here to read the other from Brian Lowry.)
Below, in his own words, Gary Karr shares how he nearly died but feels he pulled through his health issues thanks to “many prayers and God using the nursing staff as Angels.”
Gary: Thank you for taking the time to write us. More so, we’re so happy you are here today to enjoy this second-chance life you’re living – especially with your handsome little grandsons! It was our honor to serve you. We wish you nothing but health and happiness – now and always.
They took me in immediately. Within about 15 minutes, I was seen by at least 4 or 5 doctors. I was sent straight up to get a CT scan. They took me from there to have an MRI done. When they got me down to the ER they had already decided to admit me.
T he first few weeks I was there I felt like a celebrity with all the different doctors and their students coming in to see me. On about the 2nd or 3rd day there, they said they I had Mucormycosis (a fungal infection of the sinuses, brain, or lungs).
They said they were going to do a biopsy on it to confirm it. They also said if it was that, I most likely wouldn’t live more than a couple of weeks because of the advanced stage it was in.
They started treating me for that the very next day before they got the results back. They were right. Dr. Arnold had them give me amphotericin B. They continued to treat until the end of June.
The staff from Christen (I hope I spelled her name right) all the way down to the cleaning people were great. I ended up in ICU on the Friday night of Easter. I had a bad reaction to some of the pain medicine. My heart stopped twice that night. I finally woke up late on Easter Sunday evening.
While I was in ICU I had a bad stroke. I couldn’t use my right arm or leg for a few days. Within 6 weeks after returning home, I had a complete recovery from my stroke.
When they returned me back to the 8th floor, they had the same room ready and waiting for my return. When all the different groups of doctors decided they had done all they could do and it was time for me to go home. That was the last day of June.
The day before, the Palliative Team came in to meet with my parents. While they were there, they had all of the available staff to come in to bid me far well.
They had some bubbly grape juice. They all made a short comment. There was 10-15 people in there. They all were either in tears or fighting them back.
I returned on July 4th for another week. When the staff found out I was back, they had my old room ready and waiting for me.
The first few times that I went back to see the staff on the 8th floor, most of them didn’t recognize me at first.
They are a very loving and caring group of people. They spoiled me. I have had other family members in other hospitals since. There is no comparison to the wonderful treatment I received.
I couldn’t find a picture of just myself. One of the pictures (left) was taken at my first return back to visit. I had the pleasure to stand between 2 of many of the wonderful nurses I had. They took wonderful care of me.
The other picture (above) was taken with my 2 grandsons. I found out I was going to be a Grandpa Easter Sunday when I woke up in ICU. The one in my right arm was born in November; the other in December. Most of my family wasn’t sure if I would live to see them. Many prayers and God using the nursing staff as Angels brought me through this.