Christine's Medical Fund

In the afternoon on July 17, my sister, Christine, was found unresponsive in her bed by James, her 9 year old grandson.  Worried about his grandmother’s condition, James then alerted his mother who then rushed to Christine’s side only to discover that not only was she unresponsive but both hands were severely swollen.   My brother-in-law, Steven, was notified and my sister was rushed to the hospital via ambulance.   My sister was admitted right away to the emergency room, both hands extremely swollen and discolored, and in septic shock. 

While trying to discover the source of her infection, my sister was diagnosed with Clostridium difficile (C diff) and given intravenous antibiotics.  As the hospital continued to diagnose the source of the infection in her hands, my sister began to come around however she was not aware of what was happening or who anyone was.  It was an extremely emotional time for our entire family and it was evident that my sister was in severe pain.

It took until the next day to find the cause of my sister’s infection and it was not good.  Christine was found to be suffering from Necrotizing Fasciitis caused by Strep also known as flesh eating disease. Not only this, but the doctors think that she may have suffered a stroke or seizure as well because of an abnormal MRI.  Additional tests revealed that the infection did not spread to other organs but remains in her hands up to her elbows.  Now that we have a diagnosis, extensive treatment has begun to try to stop the spread of the infection.

It would be days and many debridement surgeries later that one relentless and outstanding doctor, Dr. Szymoniak successfully stopped the infection from progressing.  Although her hands are still swollen, an Infectious Disease doctor has said that it does appear that the infection is gone and can now start working on the healing process. 

Even though she remains hospitalized and at this stage, my sister still has a long road to recover to be clearly out of the woods and on July 27, it was looking like a possible transfer to a higher level of care for the grafting/reconstructive process.  We were not certain where she would be transferred to for this care, but on July 31 my sister was finally transferred to USA Hospital in Mobile, Alabama which is over an hour away for our family to travel.  This is extremely exciting news for our family because she is now in the hands of a trauma/burn surgeon who has experience in dealing with patients with this type of tissue damage.

Christine has been hospitalized since July 17, and my brother-in-law has been by her side.  There is no telling how long the healing process will take or how expensive it will be.  Supporting Christine with whatever you can give and help relieve the financial burden on her and my brother-in-law will be gratefully appreciated.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Dan Carlson 
Milton, FL
Steve Phillips 
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