Survivors Stories

Survivors and Their Families Share Stories & Experiences.

Maddy Reimer

Maddy Reimer

Please email your story over and specify if you would like it published on the website. Please write no more than 2 paragraphs so there is space for others and a photo, if you like. Please add:

1. First name of the MRSA victim,
2. Age of MRSA patient or survivor
3. What state or country you are from

Telling our personal stories helps others to understand this disease better and raises awareness.
THANK you for sharing!

Sterling

When I was 16 I had an ATV accident that left a gaping hole in my ankle. I poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some peroxide into the wound and ran water into the wound for several minutes to clean out the dirt. I was left with a hole about the size of a golf ball. It was an uneven wound and was told it couldn’t be sewn shut and would need packed, the doctor came in and said it tested positive for MRSA staph and needed amputation I was skeptical , being 16 I refused to give up my leg . I was given as little as two weeks to live if it moved through my blood to my brain. I was given vancomycin intravenously, two weeks later I was given the same diagnosis. I told the doctor I was still set on keeping the leg and  going to fight . Bandages changed 3 times a day starting with 3 feet of gauze on day one. About 50 days later it was healed closed but very tender. The scar was purple I massaged it for about a year daily with coco butter and this helped elasticity. I know I am lucky to have my leg and hope more stories like mine can be heard.

Shawana

In 2013 I was diagnosed with MRSA. I never have been given much information about it and only can assume I contracted the bacteria from the hospital that put a port in my chest for chemotherapy. I ended up feeling so sick and having a fast heart rate I went to the Doctors. I was given an IV sent home, and told to call if I felt worse. I think through the night my fever was so high I was hallucinating and shaking so badly it felt like a seizure. Once I finally made it to the hospital my blood pressure was so low I kept falling asleep and was asked what type of drugs I was on. Three days later I was diagnosed with MRSA and pneumonia and told the port was the source of the infection and it must be removed right away and I was also septic. I was treated so badly,I never want to go through that again.  The whole time I was sick if my Doctor’s had listened to me it might not have been as bad but, I had to be nearly dead for anyone to do anything about it.  I was hospitalized about two weeks and sent home on vancomyacin for 30 days.  No one even told me to watch my children that I could spread it or anything. I am still not even sure if there is a risk it could ever come back…

Judie – Georgia , 57 years old

I’m from Calhoun GA. I contracted MRSA in October 2013 when I went in for a spinal fusion.  At first, I had no idea why my incision was draining so much and when I called the doctor’s office they said it was normal. We had to change the bandage 3 to 4 times a day.  The first week I was home I became deathly ill for a couple of days. I thought it was because of all the drugs I was on, but now I’m not so sure. I was not diagnosed with MRSA until my stitches were removed, and my whole back opened up. All the tissue inside was grey and dead. I was admitted back to the hospital the first week in November, and I received IV antibiotics and pain meds.  When I went home, I was given oral antibiotics, and my hubby changed my open wound, twice a day, using Mesalts to pull any dead tissue from it. It had to heal from the bottom up. Slowly it did, and by December, I was doing PT, and on my way to recovery, I thought.
   
I have pain in my hip and leg that is horrible. I have to walk with a walker and I can’t do anything because of the pain.  We don’t know where that is coming from.  I have spent my time learning about the drugs I’m on and about MRSA.  Because antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your body, I take probiotics every day, along with vitamin C and D. I’m eating 4 to 5 garlic cloves a day, and will start using raw honey.  I am terribly anemic so I also eat a lot of foods that have iron in them, including black strap molasses.  I am going to do everything natural I can to fight this bacteria, and let the doctors do what they need to do as well.

I have read the stories on this site, and I thank everyone for sharing. I pray we all get through this.


Michelle


I am a wife and a mother of 3 daughters. I was working three jobs at the time when my life changed so drastically. My story began in Oct. 2011 when I developed a boil on my left elbow. I was told to go home and put a warm compress on it and let it burst open and then clean it, put Neosporin on it and keep it covered and dry. Changing it very often. I did all of this and it went away and had no more problems. On Nov. 30, 2011, I was going to work and by the time I got to my car, the pain in my back started. I thought that I had just pulled something stepping out of the house and turning to shut the door. Took some Tylenol and went on to work. The next few days I used icy hot and a heating pad. The pain got worse because it hurt to sit or even stand for a bit. I went in to see my doctor because I needed something stronger for pain. He gave to Vicodin and told me to try that because he felt like it was just a pulled muscle. I came home and within 2 days I could not move my legs and the pain was so bad, that it hurt to even move. My husband called the ambulance to come get me. I remember leaving my house and being put in the ambulance, but that is all until a month or so later. They told my husband and kids that I had a staph infection, but wasn’t sure what kind. Later that same day they told them that I had MRSA. It started from the place on my elbow, got into my bloodstream and then went straight to my spine, causing an abscess from my 8th to 11th vertebrae and then covering my whole back. They had me in isolation, gave me a pic line, and I was on about 8 different medicines also. They had me so out of it because of the pain. Well to make a long story short. I was in the hospital from Dec. 2011 until Jan.2012, then I went over to the rehab unit at the hospital from Jan. 2012 until I got to come home the end of Feb. 2012. My results to having MRSA is that I am now paralyzed from waist down, in a wheelchair, incontinence (also have to do in and out caths to empty my bladder fully) and have to go into the hospital every 3 months to have bladder stints exchanged, and have problems with severe swelling in my calves, ankles, & feet. I also experience my feet hurting like they are frost bit and ice cold, but when you actually touch them they are warm. I stay very cold all the time. MRSA has taken a lot away from me and my family. They have to help me with almost everything. What makes it even harder is because I am a Bariatric patient. My mom found an article about your organization in a magazine and was telling me about it. I would love to know if there are others out there that have experienced anything or is going through the same thing as me. I think it is wonderful that you are bringing awareness about this infection and how it can affect your life. May GOD bless each and everyone of the people and families that MRSA has touched.

Karen- 52 Washington State

When I was in my late 30′s or 40′s I started getting pain full ear infections and was told i had staph infection. I cant even remember the first time i had my first out break or where on my body it was. now I have a bad habit of touching my face and I start to get tiny pimples around my mouth then I get little spots on my face and on my back, in my ears, and this time in my mouth. I’ve had an infectious dr a few years back but I’ve never fully understood this disease I am a clean person I am just concerned with my frame of mind right now because i feel like my life is over and in a way I can say I don’t want to live with this and I am scared to death, I’ve just never felt this awful about myself and i am afraid of what these thoughts are going to do to me. Thanks for listening to me.

David

Tauranga, New Zealand. I attended my local hospital for a very quick and “simple” rectal biopsy to check for prostate cancer. I was only in for about 30 minutes, but the procedure involves using an instrument pushed through the wall of the bowel several times to take cells from the prostate in several different places. The attendant nurse afterwards warned me to be wary of getting an infection from the procedure, and described the symptoms that should bring me back to hospital urgently for attention.  By the following day I was vomiting and felt atrocious, so my wife took me to the Emergency Department as I was unable to drive myself.  As has been described by others on this website, the hospital staff did not indicate that this was a serious matter, although later I was advised that overnight I was close to death.  The hospital neither warned my wife or myself of this possibility, nor did anyone contact my wife overnight to come for what might have been a last visit with me, nor said anything to her anytime afterward.  During my recuperation in the isolation ward, my wife had to remind staff to gown and glove up – doctors and nurses were attending me without any precautions, then moving on to the next patient to possibly infect someone else. After I left hospital, my wife contacted the local Member of Parliament to ask that he push the hospital to take greater precautions against infection, and the hospital were resistant to this approach, refusing to accept any responsibility for my MRSA infection, saying that the bug lives in the bowel of some people, and I must have been one.  outside of a hospital-induced infection would be rare.   The hospital staff did not warn me that the MRSA can be a permanent condition, and until I read the story of another MRSA survivor on this website, I was unaware that a 
I am, with trepidation, about to have further surgery as a result of the radical prostatectomy I underwent shortly after the rectal biopsy  I am now to be discharged home for my wife to monitor me as soon as I can possibly leave the hospital immediately after surgery that night.  I am left feeling like a leper, and confused and appalled that I was never advised of my infectious state by the hospital that infected me, leaving me to possibly infect others unknowingly.  I have not been tested to check whether I am currently infectious, but it seems that once infected, I will remain on the NID database indefinitely.  (In New Zealand a law was passed many years ago to stop people having the right to sue for recompense.)


Lynn – Janesville, WI

I got a boil like sore on the side of my nose. It is dusty at work and I sneeze a lot. I didn’t notice a pattern till several years later after getting it again. At first I was told it was nothing.  That was hard to believe.  My nose suddenly became swollen and it looked as if I would have no problem landing a part in the circus if it came to town.  Yes, it is amazing how big my nose became.  I went to the doctors who didn’t know what was happening to me in 2007.  One said it was a cold sore even though I have never had one in my life and other doctors were clueless.  The  MRSA was incredibly hard to deal with and work at TSA wasn’t so easy to deal with either. Eventually, I would get my FMLA so they couldn’t harass me but it was like I was willing this to happen or that because I was overweight it was inevitable which wasn’t the case at all.  I too was worried about losing my job. My daughter is a senior this year and all she has had to deal with for the last several years was an ill mother and father who hasn’t been there.(By his choice of course.)   Missing work, scrapping by and this last hospital bill was $22,000 dollars. It is devastating and my heart goes out to all of you that have had MRSA. This is difficult to deal with and you are all very brave and inspiring. I read them all. 

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This is absolutely terrifying. One day I’m fine and two days later I have enormous boils and excruciating pain. I’m told I have a heavy growth MRSA infection. I’ve never heard of this. Then I’m told I’m a carrier. But, don’t worry, it’s not a big deal. Really?! It sure felt like a big deal when you sliced into either side of my vagina. I wasn’t in the hospital. I didn’t hurt myself. My doc said I caused it by shaving and that I should stop. No one explained what I had or what being colonized meant, but everyone sure plays it down to be no biggie for a young healthy person. When I search the Internet all the information is contradictory. Some sights say it’s just an resistant bacteria and required no special care aside from good hygiene. Other sights are noting mortality statistics and saying I shouldn’t be around people while I have an active infection. I have a 10 yr old daughter that I am now terrified I’ll infect, but the docs say she’s at no special risk. What the hell is the truth? Can I really pass it to sexual partners as long as I’m a carrier? All these stories, they all have reoccurrences. Is this my life now? My boyfriend already disappeared and no family or friends come around. This can’t possibly be true?! Why is so hard to find out the real facts? It’s crazy, I’m so scared, and I just want to understand. Is this going to be a chronic condition possibly for the ready of my life?

Cynthia

I remember getting sick, feeling almost like I had the flu, weak and achy all over.
The next memory I had was a month later waking up from a coma, I had look around to realize I was in a hospital.

Over the next few days doctors had explained why I was in a hospital and what happened I was critical I’ll with mrsa meningitus and had a stroke. As many can imagine its a lot to process. This was actually the beginning of my road to somewhat recovery.

My right side wasn’t working. I couldn’t grab cups hold anything walk or move. I was truly scared, all those little things I could do before easily were all a huge challenge now.

I endured physical therapy occupational therapy and eventually learned how to shower, use the bathroom and walk with a walker and wheelchair.

Most of you might think I am in my golden years, I was 38 and disabled. Its now two years after I endured all of this, my life has slowed down, I really thank god I survived and also learned to appreciate all the little things in life I wasn’t able to. I am so grateful to have survived.

Derek

I got MRSA this year 2013 it started February 2013 with a severe Broken ankle to an infection in the wound with MRSA, 8 surgery’s later for reconstructive surgery to my ankle after removal of infected tissue and muscle. was on Vancomycin for a long time. I am now walking in October 2013 now in physical therapy to be able to get ankle to move properly. I still don’t walk great and foot hurts a lot. I have also lost my job while this was taking place. this has changed my life in many way’s and I am glad there is a site like this to make people aware of how serious MRSA is.

Scott

In early July 2013, I was admitted to a local hospital overnight for an addisonian crisis. The following morning my IV had to be replaced. Within 3 days I developed abscesses along the same vein line as the iv. I had had abscesses before, not uncommon in type 1 diabetics. I am already resistant to Keflex as a result. However, these wounds would not heal, after multiple drainings, (right down to the bone in my right arm) by Mid August the infection was so bad that my entire arm was red and painful to move or carry items. I went to an Urgent care clinic, who prescribed yet another dose of coaxacyllin, and said I would be fine, but an MRSA swab was done after I stated It started after a hospital visit. I disagreed with the outlook and prescription, as I’d already gone through 3 doses of amoxicillin type drugs with no result. Whatever it was, it was obviously rapidly spreading, as my entire arm was red and swollen, and worsening by the hour, with increased pain.

A visit to the local hospital that same day resulted in treatment for adrenal issues, and one dose of iv antibiotics. At the time, I had been taking almost five times my regular cortisol dose, as my body does not produce the steroids to deal with bodily stress. Due to a communication error, i never received the 3 subsequent doses of iv antibiotics I was supposed to receive.

I received a call back from clinic stating my MRSA test was positive. I was given a large dose of clindamycin. Two weeks later, the wounds still hadn’t healed, I was given a dose of tetracycline.

By mid September I was vomiting, unable to keep food, water, or even my medication down. An ambulance call brought me to the same hospital that gave me the MRSA. After six days of being stabilized, I was diagnosed with C-difficile and began treatment. During my initial stay there, I had warned staff to keep me in isolation, due to the MRSA, but sadly many didn’t even pay attention, not even doctors or food staff were taking proper precautions.

Currently, I still have a positive flag/warning for both MRSA and C.Diff on my medical file that pop’s up on 911 calls. As I have not been told I am clear of these infections. It certainly made for an interesting few months.

Ria, 64 AL-USA (visiting from the Netherlands)

My fiancé’s mother lived in a nursing home where MRSA was apparently fairly common. They certainly were not at all surprised when she ended up hospitalized with it, at least twice. She would have pneumonia off and on, all the time. We finally got fed up and moved her to a new nursing home. Sadly, she continued to get ill with a variety of health issues, including MRSA. She was stabilized and was released back into her new nursing home and seemed to be doing fine.

After about a week we received a call that she had been found unresponsive. After several grueling days in the hospital, she passed away. She likely had a heart attack when they found her in her room.

My own mother flew in from Europe, for the funeral. She never actually came in contact with my fiancé’s mother, aside from seeing her at the viewing (no contact made). She stayed for three weeks, enjoying some time with me and my boys. We had a great time reconnecting and we spoke about our final wishes, having been so touched by the loss of my mother-in-law who had no will in place.

As her visit was coming to an end, she became ill. My mother had COPD for years and stubbornly continued to smoke, after trying to quit so many times. It was a few days before she would be leaving. We had been swimming and that evening she went to bed early, not feeling well. The next day she stayed in bed as well, coughing (something we had become used to with her COPD) with a mild fever. I gave her some Tylenol. That evening her fever and coughing got worse. I rushed her to the ER where her blood oxygen level was 74.

They confirmed my suspicion for pneumonia and gave her some antibiotics and breathing treatment. I stayed with her and told her she would probably be going home soon. The doctor told me they wanted to keep her for observation. I went home for a few hours of sleep and returned later that day. She couldn’t talk very well because she had a breathing mask on. She had some issues understanding what was going on, since her English was poor. So I spoke to the nurse and she said they had a little trouble keeping her blood oxygen up, so they put her on some more breathing treatment. My mom understood and told me to go home, get some rest, she’d be fine.

That night I got a call that she was being intubated and moved to MICU, so her lungs could heal. A few days and she would be fine. The next morning I found out she had MRSA (although they called it ‘a stapph infection’, to make it sounds less bad). Over the next days her condition became more and more serious. By the time they started to awaken her from her induced coma she did not wake up. Her brain had stopped functioning. The MRSA had destroyed her lungs, heart, kidneys and brain. In less than a week time I lost my mother, I never got to say goodbye. We had been gardening and swimming only the weekend before, and now she was dead.

It is still surreal to me. And I am still furious at the hospital. I do not feel like they took the proper precautions. I saw housekeeping empty her trash in her ‘contact isolation’ room with BARE HANDS. I have no idea where she got MRSA, if she got it from me or my fiancé (since we did have contact with his mother) or if she got it from the hospital. She died in the MICU, the same MICU my mother-in-law had been in only weeks before. We both lost our moms only a month apart.

It’s really hard at times. My boys have no grandparents left. They loved my mother, even though she could only visit every other year or so. It happened so incredibly fast.

MRSA is awful and ignored in the US. My mother’s body was flown back to Europe and was kept behind glass at the funeral! The doctors didn’t even want me to come to Europe, afraid I would bring MRSA with me. The US is so lax about it, it’s sickening.

Erica

In 2007 I noticed a tiny pustule on my right knee, like an ingrown hair, so I squeezed it, it popped, I rubbed it with alcohol and called it a day. The next morning it had doubled in size, so again I cleaned all the puss out alcohol, Neosporin. Band-aid. That afternoon it started to ache, so I again tried to clean the puss, but now it was larger, swollen to about quarter size and copious amounts of pus. That evening it was throbbing, the size of a golfball…I went to the ER they cleaned it wrapped it sent me home. Very early the next morning around 2 am, I woke in such extreme pain and felt feverish, back to the ER. This time the Dr. Lanced it open and aggressively dug the pus from deep with in my knee…sooo painful, the culture revealed MRSA..the wound was packed and drain wicking left out. After 4 different antibiotics and a week of packing wicking and compressing it healed. Now Su.ce that time I have had MRSA 3 more times (caught very early) and staff twice. It never seems ti go away! Now I am going through treatments for breast cancer….Grrr! That’s my MRSA story.

Peggy

I contracted MRSA when in the hospital for knee replacement. At first the MRSA was throughout my blood stream,. I was first hospitalized fir nine weeks because I caught viral pneumonia in both lungs as well. I died twice and was recessatated, but due to huge amounts of steroids used for My lungs became diabetic, lost all my peripheral vision, and could hardy function. After one year the MRSA decided to settle in my kidneys, which really scared me because due to cancer I had to have my bladder removed. I was also very scared because my father caught MRSA in the hospital during routine shoulder surgery. His settled in his kidneys right away and after two years he had to go on dialysis, which he did for three years and then we list him to complete kidney failure. Needless to say I live with that fear because without a bladder it is hard to tell if you have a kidney infection until you get a fever. The intervenious antibiotics are so hard on your kidneys, and almost nothing works orally. Besides with all this treatment of antibiotics I worry about them not working for anything in my future.So I decided to read everything I could get my hands on and kept seeing unprocessed honey used to treat MRSA. A great deal if research is buying dine in the UK and New Zealand. Drug companies don’t rule like in the states, and the UK uses many natural remedies. I had nothing to loose the numbers in my kidneys were at 75,000, and you get close to dialysis at 100,000. I figured I had nothing to loose, honey is natures antibiotic for many diseases and was still viable in Kin Tuts pyramid. I changed nothing else in my diet for six weeks, I still ate yogurt every day and took probiotics, the only thing I added was the recommended dose of three teaspoons of honey each day. I drink mine in an herbal tea, but you can put it on toast or biscuits or however you choose. But it has to be every day. In six weeks I went from 75,000 to 10,000, My doctor was elated and now gives the first book I read out to any of her patients. Now my MRSA has colonized in my kidneys which means they are nit active at the present time. I still suffer from frequent kidneys infections but they don’t know if that could be from not having a bladder. All I know is that we as patients have to be advocates for ourselves and realize that chemicals may not be the complete answer. Read everything you can and desire with your doctor what you can try. I am diabetic and because honey is processed differently than refined sugars, my numbers have gone down there also. I an now researching this novella black seed which is healing many diseases. I think our cures our out there and truly believe many can be natural products. How long can we take antibiotics before we become immune to them. I hope this helps fellow sufferers and honey is used on external MRSA as well. It’s certainly worth a try. I wish all of those suffering from this disease we never expected to get all my hopes for your recovery. I will be more than happy to answer any questions on my treatment you may have. The only warning on using honey is it can’t be used on babies. Best wishes and remember attitude is everything. We can beat this I know we can but it will take hard work and cooperation from people like us who have this disease.

Marissa, 18

When I was 15, I developed an infection on my nose. It nearly tripled in size, and it was later determined to be MRSA. It has been 3 years now of 8 antibiotics and several trips to the ER.

MRSA has damaged so many things in my life. My body is covered in ugly scars, it caused meningitis that landed me in the hospital for a month, and I have had to call into work countless times from the pain. Since my first outbreak, not a day has gone by that I haven’t had a sore. The agony of them often keeps me up at night. I am thankful I found this website…it gives me hope that it will one day get a little easier to cope with.

Ryan, 15

In 2006, our Son, Ryan was an outstanding athlete with a fantastic and fun future ahead of him. At 15, there was already talk of baseball scholarship, and possibly more. That all changed in April when, while practicing indoors for the upcoming baseball season, he started to feel some soreness in his right hip area. Within a week, he was unable to walk without crutches, and both his Dr. and local hospital emergency room were unable to determine the cause of the pain, ending up with a diagnosis of a possible muscle pull. After a consultation with an Orthopedic Surgeon, he was referred to the Pediatric Oncology Dept. at the University of Michigan for an evaluation. For the first time, blood work was ordered, and the following day he was admitted for a biopsy due to an incredibly high white blood cell count, which told physicians that there was a dangerous infection of some sort that had taken up residence in his body, which was confirmed by the biopsy of both hip and lower back areas of concern. This was the first day we heard the term MRSA. His life was about to change forever, but at that point, we expected that he’d be back on the baseball field shortly.
 


Ryan spent the next 4 weeks at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor while the Drs. searched for the right combination of antibiotics to deal with the MRSA that had taken control of his body. Six surgeries, 5 blood transfusions, a MRSA infected blood clot, and many drug reactions later, he was released from the hospital MRSA free, having lost about 30% of his body weight, but with a major problem that was not found until his 30 day followup visit to the hospital. While it was thought that the MRSA was confined to his hip and lower back soft tissue areas, a routine pelvis x-ray disclosed that the infection had ALSO decimated the hip joint itself. The head of his femur, as well as his acetabulum, were totally chewed up by the infection, leaving his right leg nearly 3 inches shorter than the left. An x-ray in late March showed nothing abnormal.
 


Ryan spent the next 15 months on crutches, while Physicians waited to make sure that total hip replacement was his only acceptable option. They were reluctant to do a total hip on a patient so young, knowing that he’d need many more hip replacements throughout his life. In August 2007, Ryan got his new hip, with instant relief from the pain he’d endured over the past 15 months. While he was far more comfortable, his main asset, his speed, was gone. He was able to play football, hockey and baseball again his Senior year, but he was no longer the star athlete he’d been before MRSA.

What made this whole situation even more curious, was that there was never anything external that would point to the MRSA’s entry point.  Everything was internal, and although we appreciate the fact that the Drs. and hospital staff saved his life, we wonder if the results might have been different if they had known the infection had also invaded the hip joint itself earlier in the process.

Constance, 63, from Utah

March 26, 2013 I could not lift my left leg. Felt like 2,000 pounds of cement. I guess I panicked, ambulance came and I came to in the ICU. I had MRSA which had shut down my kidneys, anemia, pulmonary hypotension, pneumonia, cellulitis right above my replaced knee and collapsed leg veins so legs are black. Spent 12 days in ICU, not expected to live and family was called in. After 12 days there went to medical rehab for 2 months and I was bedridden almost 24/7 for 2 and a half months. Am home, but have had to learn to stand and walk and am still to this day too weak to stand much. Went to the store for the first time in 5 months last week – in a wheelchair. Left with no hair and a giant pannus on my left side abdomen. I don’t think I will ever be the same. I have depression after all it did to me. It took everything from me.

Dee Dee, 52- WI, USA

Like many mothers who are consumed with raising two young children, I rarely think about coming in contact with potentially life threatening bacteria. Little did I know that the first six months of 2005 would have me fighting for my life and leave me permanently scarred.

It all began quite simply and was really nothing that anyone was alarmed about. While driving home from visiting family in Atlanta over Thanksgiving, I developed a boil on my backside. I had never had one before, and it was quickly becoming painful to even sit. I had to make a trip to my primary care physician for a routine exam anyway, so as part of the exam I asked her to evaluate the boil. She decided to lance it to aid in draining and relieve the pressure, which had become quite painful. She put me on an antibiotic to make sure that I didn’t get an infection. Over the course of the next couple weeks, the site began to heal, and neither my husband

The outcome was grim at best. I would at the very least have a sizable area of my inner knee removed with the possibility of losing my leg. The worst case was that I could become septic from the infection and die. The anxiety and fear was tremendous. I called my husband and tried my best to tell him what was happening but couldn’t get it out over the tears. The surgeon took the phone and told him how serious the infection was and to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Before the surgery, I had a bone scan to determine if the infection had spread into the bones. Fortunately, there was no evidence of the spreading, but we really wouldn’t know until I went under the knife. What a horrible feeling of not knowing. Only a few weeks before, I had been in good health and more concerned with my children’s colds. Certainly, the prospect of losing my leg had never occurred to me.

By the time the surgery was over, I had a 19 square centimeter area about 2 inches deep of soft tissue removed from the inner side of my knee. The excavation of tissue went all the way to the muscle. It could have been worse, but I was going to have to endure the most painful experiences of my life as the wound was changed daily to remove the dead tissue. The wound had to be checked for any negative changes that would indicate the surgery had not successfully removed all the infection. I had these twice-a-day changes for a week before I finally had a skin graft to close the wound. Once the graft was completed, I was released and put on intravenous vancomycin.

Over the next two months, I had a host of complications slowing my recovery and further threatening my health. I developed blood clots from the lack of mobility and resistance to the vancomycin. Tests showed that even though we were highly conscious of hygiene, the bacteria remained on my skin and in the wound. I developed blisters on my belly that were likely the result of the same bacteria being introduced through injections to prevent the blood clots. This landed me in the ICU but fortunately no surgery was required this time!

It took months of physical therapy to regain the mobility and strength in my leg. Now, I have little feeling in the knee area or the lower leg from the damage done to the nerves. I am always fearful of the slightest cut. I know that my options for treatment are slim at best should the infection ever present itself again. Now in 2013 i have recently found boils and blisters on my breast and left leg. The doctors think that it is MRSA, but we are not sure if it truly is. I always hope that no one will ever have to face this disease. I thank you all for your prayers for a safe future.

Nicole 36 yrs old Baltimore MD

My MRSA story began when I banged my knee on a coffee table. I was in debilitating pain 2 days later and went to the hospital. They drained “fluid” from my knee and sent me home.I had some short term relief but a few days later I had a 104 fever so I went back. They took an X-ray and told me I had an infection in my kneecap. 1 month of in hospital IV antibiotics and 3 surgeries later I was no better off. I asked my mom to take me to another hospital because I thought I was going to die. I’m glad I did.

At the next hospital they to me the infection was never in my kneecap. It was actually in the femur above the knee and now in my bloodstream. They operated and gave me IV Vancomyicin.A month later I got better and went home, but the infection came back more aggressive. It was actually eating away my femur. I slip of a 4 inch step and my femur shattered. I was sent to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma where they tried for almost 6 months to get rid of the MRSA but my body was becoming immune to the antibiotics. So the only course was to amputate above the knee. This saved my life.

Amber 37 – California

Thank you for putting this organization together.

I am 37 years old and have VRSA which includes Voncomycin Resistant Coaglase Negative Staph and Vanco Resistant Staph Aureus in the last 2 years. At one time I hade 50 + impetigo boils all over my body. The dr’s gasped when they saw it. I am a clean person but have no immune system due to taking constant antibiotics throughout my life….BIG MISTAKE.

I have been close to death twice.

My mother being a hospice nurse, was negligent and unloving and never helped me get to a dr or hospital. Her advice, of course was to take all and every antibiotic according to the dr’s notes when I all I needed was a culture to be taken.

My life has fallen apart…i can’t visit with anyone because of giving this to someone,  I am homeless, hurting, hopeless at times and don’t have the ability to go back to work and/or attend Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School cause the risk involved with infecting others. My kidneys were given too much work to do and the right one failed.

My health insurance (by the county of Riverside, California) offers little help and it takes months to see the dr. Ask for a specialist like a dermatologist and they’ll laugh at you. 
Despite this debilitating disease and loss of public recognition, the healthcare system hasn’t done enough to make sure everything is sanitized properly. I’ve seen it every time I go.

With that said…  my life was saved by one friend who so lovingly took me in and helped. She and I both know that if stress comes up at anytime, i break out all over again. This time around though, I CAN NOT WEAR LATEX, BANDAIDS or ANYTHING STICKY to cover over the wound. I break out with welts.

Steven

My name is Steven jobs in 2006 September 22nd after starting my freshman year in high school I was shot in the head the head with head a nine millimeter handgun I had lied in the floor for a while before being attended to and have contracted MRSA after several stays in my hospital it had taken its toll on me spent years in rehab attended school half a day in the hospital for three months most of which in ICU I represented the Gifford story there are many people trying to write my story because its a combination of a 14 year old stealing his brother’s hand gun because it was not locked up like it should have been me a striving semi Christian coming “face to face with god” beating the odds relearning to walk twice eat and even talk.

MRSA wise I’ve been “obsessed” with getting my lip pierced since age 10 and theirs obvious question with my MRSA history and I surly would be ok with this to be edited and shared

Cliff

My beautiful son Cliff survived MRSA pneumonia 3 years ago. He was 26 then. He had been sick for a couple of weeks, with 4 doctor visits, and 4 “diagnoses” like mono and bronchitis. He called mid-morning, and said he was in such pain, could I drive him to the emergency room? Sure. His pain was from the trigeminal nerve, up his neck, across his head and face. He also had a terrible cough, but we went to the ER due to the pain. We bagged up at least 20 meds he’s been given in the previous two weeks. When we got to the ER in our small town, the triage nurse skipped detailing the meds, and had a doc see him immediately. He had 103F fever (which he ran for the next 5 days, sometimes 104-105F) and after an X Ray, the staff brought in a giant hepa filter, which sounded like a jet engine. We were told that he had bronchiectasis, with 1000 holes in his right lung. (At the time, we thought this was a bad diagnosis. It is, but it is likely evidence of damage from many bouts of bronchitis and pneumonias throughout his life. Bronchiectisis results in cavities in the bronchi and lungs of the patient where fluid and ultimately pus can collect). Cliff was put in “isolation” on a medical floor, not in ICU, and started on IV meds for pain and antibiotics. At one point, he was on 11 IV antibiotics. It was 3 days before we were told that he had MRSA pneumonia. The staff was afraid to come into the room. He bled freely rom every needle-stick due to meds. He filled the disposable bags he coughed into with green goo and blood. This was constant for 7 days, literally 24/7. He had a nose bleed with every coughing spell. He had c diff – so coughing, pus- and blood-filled bags of horror, massive diarrhea, bleeding from needle sticks, all while on a pain pump which failed on day 3. (Corrected after 8 hours of no morphine delivery). Not one staff member washed their hands in all the days we were there. The sink was blocked by other equipment. The staff who dared to come in the room mainly came in to pray for him. We had to call for help when he had diarrhea in the bed, puked in bed, had bleeding from multiple sights when on the toilet, multiple bags filled with pus and blood to be taken away. He hallucinated, but he possibly wasn’t really aware how dire his situation was. After vancomycin was finally started, his fever fell, the cough improved, and after 10 days of O2, IVs, 24/7 family in the room, the staff mentioned that perhaps the family should wear masks. Like his family hadn’t been coughed on, puked on, bled on, or cleaned up diarrhea. When his temp returned to normal, he was given a bath. That’s right – 10 days in, someone noticed him. He was put in a wheel chair. The nurses lined the halls and did the “tomahawk chop” and he went home. We thought this mattered. (Home with linezolid. Insurance is critical with this drug.) He was home 5 days, and got worse each day, until he had the collapsed lung. Back to the hospital, chest tube insertion, isolation, and another week on IV vanc, with crazy ups and downs like a cardiac scare. When he finally went home, he’s been fired from his job for being absent, and was unable to drive for another 2 months. He lost 30 pounds, at 6′, going from 190 to 160 in 2 weeks. (He’s never regained the weight.) He suffered pleural pain acutely for a year, and periodically since. (He can’t lift anything over his shoulders due to pleural pain, 3 years later.) His employer hired him back. After being back to work 3 months, his 23 year old wife said she didn’t want to be married to anyone who was sick. People think MRSA is just another illness. It is life altering, and one must question the care patients receive when the medical staff iis afraid of contracting this. No normal person can think that they will be in a hospital praying, “Dear Lord, help my child.”. Or that they’ll say to their beloved child, “I will count the seconds until you can press the pain pump again. 3-2-1.” And that turns out to be bunk, since the pump wasn’t working, Or that a single nurse will bathe this helpless grown man on her knees when she realizes that no one else even noticed after many days. As a mother, I was afraid to “raise hell”. How much worse could it get if you complain? My beloved son (almost 30) is left with PTSD – he is frozen with fear when he gets a cough. There’s virtually nothing to advise what his future holds. His pulmonologist recommends that he have immunoglobulin therapy. The immunologist makes this very confusing. My son is afraid. He lost his job, and he lost his marriage. So many of the stories are about MRSA skin infections and MRSA blood infections. Please, share your survival stories of MRSA pneumonia. Breathing is fundamental. MRSA pneumonia is horrifying, and we would be comforted by others who survived this.

David

I first got MRSA in 2005. I had a bump on my buttocks that got infected, which turn into gangaren that settled in my groin. After surgery, I found out that I had MRSA infection. I developed pneumonia. Then I proceeded to stay a four nursing homes, where I often became septic, then hospitalized.
I am still a MRSA victim. But, with Gods help and his Blessings I have remained free of complications. In 2007, I was told that I would lose my right leg, above the knee. NOT!! I still have my leg, and intend to pass this world with both my legs, arms, feet and toes. Thank you for this forum. I pray for each MRSA victim. The quality of you life is for you to make the best of the issues, you face each day.

Samantha, 24, NC

I was taken to the hospital on my 22nd birthday with a leg that had swollen to twice it’s size and a night full of vomiting and dizziness.  I passed out a few times at the hospital while the nurses tried to hook me up to an IV and even lost consciousness while on the phone with my father who had called to wish me a happy birthday.

I was taken to the emergency room and they ran lots of blood work on me. One doctor wanted to run an EKG on my heart and I was lucid enough to say no because while my knowledge of medicine is limited, I know that loss of consciousness and nausea are NOT caused by a problem with the heart.  My leg is at this point killing me. My dad (who lived 3.5 hours away) arrived while I was waiting for a room on the bed floor. My doctor and his team of medical students checked in on me and gave me lots of medicine, though they didn’t ever tell me exactly what was going on, and I was under the impression that I would be released that day. I stayed in the hospital for three days.

They finally told me WHAT it was, but were still pretty non-commital about how serious it was, which led to my impression that everything was fine and I was confused why I needed to stay overnight. It turns out I almost lost my leg. I’m glad they didn’t tell me.

When they let me go home, I still could not let my leg hang vertical for more than a minute or two without it swelling and becoming terribly painful. Honestly, during the worst of it, I have to say it is the worst pain I have ever experienced; I can’t even imagine childbirth being this bad. The slightest touch was horrific.

Two years later, I still have trouble with swelling in that leg, especially on planes. I’ve noticed that it is still just slightly thicker than my non-MRSA leg, and it is more prone to shin splints.

It was a year before my parents told me the full details of how close I got to losing my leg. The day they told me, I signed up for a half marathon because to heck with you, MRSA. I’m still going to run.

Bethany 16- Austin

Watch Bethany’s video and she tells her story about CA-MRSA and her fundraising for MRSA Survivors Network on CrowdRise.com She is the “MRSA Youth Champion” for 2013. Be inspired!!! Help make a difference!!!

Carly

My baby Carly had a tough start to life. She was born 9 weeks early, yet had a pretty uneventful, “grower/feeder” experience with no medical concerns during her 7 week nicu stay. A week before her discharge a formula additive was added onto her feeding regimen which precipitated some increased colic and gassiness, but little was made of it and we were sent on our merry way home with our perfect little angel. Within a week however everything fell apart as our daughter was suddenly hospitalized in very critical condition from necrotic bowel related to thickener. Carly underwent multiple surgeries and procedures and tenuously hung onto her life in very serious shape. We were devastated. Carly almost died on several occasions because the aggressive levels of her blood thinners left her vulnerable to hemorrhaging to death,which nearly occurred. A nose bleed then led to full flooding of her lungs with 75% of her blood volume, essentially drowning her in her own blood. She was intubated and seeming to be improving until she started to have thick secretions and was having trouble breathing with the machine. We were reassured it was okay, but in fact it was MRSA tracheitis preventing Carly from being able to effectively breath and oxygenate. This was the first of a 2.5 year string of MRSA complications, hospitalizations and surgeries to attempt to regain control and hopefully eradicate this aggressive infection. While Carly’s initial medical issues including her failed intestines, failed/clotted central feeding lines and severe bleeding to keep lines patent seemed among the most pressing issues, the MRSA became yet another obstacle and complication to Carly’s health and recovery. Since her discharge home at 8 months Carly has returned for mrsa treatment 4 more times and has experienced many more skin infections besides these. We have seen ways in which hygiene practices are flawed and protocols that need change as cohorting all mrsa cases together presumes they are all the same strain of mrsa. The only thing worse then having mrsa is being doubly infected with yet another, unrelated strain of mrsa. And even if the strains are the same it doubles the chance of reinfection in a child already struggling with abx resistant issues. It is akin to transfusing an hiv positive patient with unscreened blood because “he already has HIV anyway.” It is both medically irrational and totally unethical.

Julia -50, Eustis, FL

My mother was complaining of neck pain, and she started to have delusional thoughts. She woke me up at 5am to sing me happy birthday, when it wasn’t even close to my birthday. I thought she was losing her mind, honestly. But on 12-02-12 she was rushed to the local hospital & released the next day with a sprained neck, and prescriptions for tramadol and a muscle relaxer, which by the way can be fatal if taken together! Tramadol shouldn’t be prescribed if you have a history of drug abuse or depression, which she has (and the hospital has record of that). After being discharged, symptoms worsened. On 12-06-12 she was rushed to the local hospital again, hours later they transferred her to a hospital over an hour a way. They found out she had a serious infection in her neck. It took three long days of my mother being in an induced coma, hooked up to a catheter, and an oral feeding tube, for them to find an affective antibiotic. This was pure torture, she was facing death & I could only watch. She couldn’t speak, or move. It was announced that the infection was MRSA, which had then spread to her brain stem. She had to have two surgeries to reduce the size of the infection, they cut away bone from her neck, gave her a temporary tracheostomy, and had to move the feeding tube into her stomach so her throat could heal. To me, my mother looked dead already. She couldn’t talk for over two weeks.

They’ve removed the trach and she can now talk, she’s healing up and is expected to be home in 2 weeks!! But docs say she’ll never be the same physically ): we won’t be able to play tennis, or bike ride together anymore. My life changed drastically, I never planned for my mother to be hospitalized for 2 months. I took her for granted.. I’m only 17 and I had to watch my mom suffer through this.. if only I had been aware of the effects of MRSA.

MARGE – 65 – California

I had my first outbreak of MRSA 6 years ago in 2007 at the age of 59. It was summer and I had been sleeping with light covers I got what I thought was a spider bite on my lower back. A trip to the doctor’s office revealed that it was MRSA. I took the antibiotics and it healed, at least I thought it did. In 2011 I fell and broke my hip and found out that the hospital had listed me as a MRSA patient. It entitled me to a private room and gloves and gowns for my family when they visited. My recovery developed complications that caused me to be in a nursing home for 6 weeks and laid up at home for several weeks. During this time I had a picc line and received slow drip antibiotics twice a day for eight weeks. My husband assisted by connecting the medicine to the picc line twice a day. I had several appointments with the infectious disease doctor who also placed me on oral antibiotics. The infection cleared and I got better, at least I thought I did.

My current out break is ongoing. This time I got what looked like a boil on my chin. I am still on antibiotics. This condition makes me feel like a leper. I can’t tell anyone outside the family about my condition, but there is big white bandage covering the sore like a big light bulb on my face. I isolate from the world and stay locked up inside the house. I am afraid that I will never be free of this. I am glad that I found your website it is a greatly needed resource.

Indira, Edwardsville, Illinois

I believe I was infected from a Pedicure. A bit after the pedicure I noticed a dreadful pain near what I thought was an ingrown hair on my leg. It continued to increase in size and pain. I went to a clinic on a Saturday because I could not endure the pain any longer. The nurse there quickly told me she thought it was MRSA. She gave me an antibiotic and told me to go to hospital if the size increased. Due to the fact that I do not have insurance I waited in agony until Monday morning and visited my own doctor. By Monday it had begun to weep and the pain was vicious. My Doctor was fabulous. I saw him every other day until the boil was a bit improved.

I have since had some type of sore about every 6 weeks or so over the last 18 months. My children have each had 2 sores and been treated. My mother moved in after my father died and she has had an outbreak. I finally found that Washington University in St. Louis had a treatment for MRSA. We have done the treatment twice. My children and mother are negative but I still get it about every 6 weeks. My husband has never had MRSA but did have Cellulitis. The last time I notice a great depression. We wondered if it was a side effect of the antibiotics or just frustration with the disease. I think it is a bit like having leprosy. Anyone who knows that you have it fears you and anything you touch. Often your friends and Family avoid you. You begin to get depressed but you completely understand why the avoid you. You do not want anyone to have to deal with this horrible disease. I have a great faith in God and He sustains me through the difficult time. I will give God all the glory and consider it an honor to pray for you all as you too struggle with this disease.

Deb, Boston

January of 2012 I was diagnosed with cellulitis on my lower back it started out as a small bump and within 3 days covered most of my back. My Dr. Decided to lance it and biopsy it and it turned out to be MRSA. Oxys didn’t take the pain away and I had 2 feet of packing out in and needed to go to the Dr to have it changed every day the first week then every few days for 3 weeks. Almost a year to the day I had a bump on my upper thigh and of course it was MRSA but this just needed an incision and healed on its own. Now I have another sore on the top of my buttocks which I’ll be going to have taken care of tomorrow. They can’t figure out why I keep breaking out since I don’t work in the health care profession or go to the gym.

Donna, 37, New York

My ordeal began after a trip to Florida. I had just showered and was getting dressed when I felt something bite me on my upper butt cheek. (Yes, I know funny). I rubbed the area for a minute and the pain went away. I continued to get dressed and go about my day. The pain came back and was getting worse as the day went on. That evening I was changing my sheets and spotted the body of a Brown Recluse spider that must have been a stole away in my luggage. I ignored the pain the best I could popping Advil by the handful. The next day I went to the ER spider in bag and it was confirmed that I had been bitten. They gave me a cocktail of antibiotics and a pain killer, both shots. They then sent me home with more pain meds and more antibiotics. Now I should tell you that when they examined me in the er I was in someone’s office because there was no bays open. Three days later I couldn’t walk, had 103 fever and was in so much pain I wanted to die. I was rushed back to the doctor where although she had no bedside manor sent me right away to the surgeon. They cut into me where I had been bitten and removed all the dead tissue from the necrosis from the spider bite. They did a biopsy of the tissue and pus and confirmed MRSA. Needless to say I had numerous surgeries to remove all the dead tissue but also my boyfriend had to change the packing 4 to 5 times a day. Many, many weeks of pain and antibiotics and I was “cured” I live in fear everyday that MRSA will rear its ugly head once again.

AJ, 47, Oregon, USA

During the fall of 2008, I found what I thought to be an insect bite on my breast. There’s a great website actually called BadSpiderBites.com, and I posted my story on their MRSA page, once the docs figured out what it was. I can only conclude it came from an unsanitary stethoscope at a health checkup the week before–why else would something like that crop up in that location? Months later, I had a Pap smear exam, and VOILA! Painful abscesses in the genital region.

I’m currently dealing w/ several in the peri-anal region which I just had lanced. (The alternative was constant shifting in my chair & walking carefully, feeling like I am smuggling 2 painful grapes in my underwear). These were cultured first as peptostreptococcus, and I was put on doxycycline. Then another test came back as MRSA (which I suspected) and I’m back on bactrim. Per my doc, I am actually getting checked by a colorectal surgeon in 2 days. Gotta love the “gift that keeps giving.” THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!

Trish – Baltimore

I was born in 1962 and had an identical twin sister. In 1988 (age 26) my twin suffered a stroke at my home 2 hours after my son was buried. My son was born with hypo plastic left heart syndrome (left side of heart never developed) surgery fixed the heart but complications from liver and kidney failure killed him. Anyway back to my twin. She suffered a stroke and Drs never determined the cause. In 2004 (age 44) I suffered a stroke. I was hospitalized for 1 week for extensive testing. After extensive testing, it was determined my stroke was due to hole in my heart (PFO). The Drs performed a PFO closure. (Small screen to block the hole) I had some brain damage to the memory part of my brain due to the stroke. In 1999, I gave birth to my third child who was born with a conventional birth defect. (Cleft lip). She had several surgeries to correct the nose and lip. She is wearing braces now and her teeth are finally getting straight. In July 2011 my husband, 50 yrs old, suddenly died from a massive heart attack. In September 2011 (3 months later) I began feeling ill with a major headache, high fever of 104, diarrhea, very confused, combative, and throwing up. I was rushed to ER and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and MRSA. Immediately IV antibiotics were administered. I was now in a coma, on a feeding tube and breathing machine (trachea), etc… Ten days passed and my fever remained at 104 and the bloodstream infection was getting worse. I now had severe edema, my kidneys and liver were failing, and my vitals signs were off the charts. After two weeks in intensive care my condition was getting worse and the Drs told my two children ages 13 and 22 to prepare for another funeral. Imagine, my girls just lost their father 3 months ago and now their mother. The Drs decided to transfer me to another hospital to see if the Chief Dr of infectious disease could help. The infection was in my bloodstream and my entire body was septic. The infection was resistant to antibiotics. Chief of infectious disease tried over 10 different antibiotics and cocktails but to no a avail. Many Drs. statewide were now involved in my case. After many repeated CT scans and test a wavy growth was found on my PFO closure. The infection was in my heart and my entire bloodstream. I didn’t have long to live so the decision was made to operate (open heart surgery) to remove the PFO closure(screen). The Drs had very little hope that I would even survive surgery. I don’t give up easily and this would be no exception. After surgery, my vital signs were slowly improving and my temperature was going down but I was not out of the woods yet. It took a variety of several antibiotics combined (cocktail) for six more weeks for the infection to subside. I started losing my hair and I got a UTI from so many antibiotics! I spent another month in acute rehab facility to learn how to walk and talk again. The Drs. are amazed that I do not have significant brain damage. I am still in rehab and getting stronger everyday. I still have elevated white cell count and creatin levels (kidney) to name a few of of my lingering ailments. On the bright side, the Chief Dr of infectious disease did a 44 page slide show presentation of my case to a conference room filled with Drs and I was the guest speaker. I have a copy of the presentation if anyone would like to read it. I even saw slides of my heart surgery. Lastly and most importantly, I am concerned that many more deadly infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Best of luck to you all.

Priscilla

I went to the hospital and though I had appendicitis. The Nurse touched my port and I told her she needed to wear gloves, she said it would be ok. I started to have pain in my port and it was really red and they sent me home. Went back to the ER and was admitted in the hospital with MRSA sepsis and renal failure.

Brenda – 48

My nightmare with MRSA Pneumonia started in May of 2012. I don’t remember details of its beginning or what happened to me other than I felt this incredulous fatigue and mass chaos in my mind. I couldn’t remember things, didn’t know what date or day it was and NOTHING was making any sense to me. Mass confusion is all I remember. I didn’t have a fever, or cough, or any of the symptoms that would have alerted me or anyone to consider that I had Pneumonia. I was confused and I was extremely weak and not able to walk without falling down. But, after a few Dr. appts. my family Dr did a chest x-ray and said that I was “very, very ill”. I went to his office 7 days a week for 2 solid months for antibiotic shots. My breathing became more difficult and finally he told me to go to the ER. I did and was admitted with bilateral bacterial pneumonia which turned out to be MRSA Pneumonia. I am allergic to Cipro and Vancomycin so the hospitalists ordered cocktails of other IV drugs and oral antibiotics. That was the beginning of what has become my worst nightmare. MRSA has left me a different person…a dependent and scared person and one who does not remember things like I once did. I love my family and friends but I am constantly avoiding them because I do not want to infect them. I have had numerous recurring episodes of MRSA Pneumonia and been in the hospital several different times with it. It seems to quiet down for a few weeks and then it is back and again I am sick. I feel isolated and alone with this illness. I do not think you can understand what it does to you unless you have had it. I will never be the person that I was before MRSA. My life will never be the same as it was before MRSA. I had expected to be well again. Now I expect to die. I am just trying to hang on long enough to see my kids out of college and living independent and successful lives. I am all they have since their father died. I am all they have…and that isn’t much anymore.

Letty

Thanks for promoting and advocating for MRSA awareness, prevention and treatment. I am a survivor who struggles everyday with the memories and daily self care.I am a social worker in NYC who has been working with chronic street homeless for the past 9 years. On June, 2011 while at work I felt numbness and redness in my forehead and eye. I informed my supervisor of my unusual symptoms. However, she minimized and did not let me leave early from work. Two days later I had a boil and went to emergency room. At that time it was hot and the doctors at the emergency thought that it was a heat boil. I was given antibiotics and went to my doctor who proceeded to remove the abscess.

Then after that I started experiencing abscesses every month. On September 2011, I was hospitalized for a abscess in my eye ( left area near eyebrow). I was hospitalized for a week and treated with Vancomycin and Morphine for the pain. At the time I was not aware that I had MRSA. The hospital discharged and the abscess was removed in a eye clinic. I received wound care and antibiotics for two weeks and half. After the abscess was removed I requested a culture and I was MRSA positive.I did not had any follow up and was not guided in how to treat MRSA. I was just given antibiotics.

I relapsed for four more months. My doctor continued prescribing me antibiotics. I was so hopeless and did not understand what was going on with me. I did a google search and find out that probably I was colonized with MRSA. So I searched for an specialist at the NY Presbyterian Hospital. I scheduled an appointment and was seen in January, 2012. I was right I had the bacteria colonized in my nose. The specialist prescribed Mupirocin 2% and antibiotics as well Hybiclens.

After all those months with continued antibiotics I developed gastritis and also I experienced urine tract infections. At work I spoke with my supervisor and requested information on how to request work compensation. I was told that If apply I would be limited to work and my salary was going to be reduced. So I did not apply for work compensation because I am single mom and I couldn’t afford a reduction in my salary. I couldn’t I needed to pay my daughter’s school tuition and my mortgage.

I became financially unstable due to my medical expenses and preventive precautions. I got rid off all my towels, sheets, comforters and clothing. I became obsessed and paranoid with the bacteria. I started experiencing nightmares and my self esteem drop down. I decided to seek psychotherapy to remove my fears of getting an abscess and having more scars. I needed to lift my self esteem and be confident that I was not going to become depressed with all these continued antibiotic treatment. My skin has been able to heal and my scars are not that visible. However, I feel wounded because I struggle for about a year with a bacteria and was not given support by the medical care settings and by the social services agency I worked for.

As a social worker I had to advocate for myself and seek my own resources but it’s frustrating to see how there is no conscious in how to support people with MRSA. How I became exposed? Well, I recall working with a chronic hoarder for 6 months. He collected perishable foods and stored them in his kitchen cabinets and closets. I reported his behavior and continued working with him. However, I am not sure if I became MRSA positive after being exposed to the strong smell of garbage. Probably I colonized the bacteria earlier because I have worked in different homeless shelters for the past 9 years. The answer in how I became MRSA positive is still unclear for me.

Now its 7 months that I left the shelter and I work in a supportive housing setting for people with medical conditions. My skin is not the same I experience small abscesses which I treat with hot compresses of water and bacitracin. I take every morning the necessary steps to prevent from getting the bacteria again. When I do home visits to clients I use mupirocin in my nose and I wear a small mask in my face for precaution. My supervisor is very supportive and he allows me to wear a mask. It has become a ritual for me to continue protecting myself against MRSA. In the morning I shower with Hybiclens solution and then I continue using mupirocin in my nose everyday. I can’t stop using it despite my doctor’s recommendations because for him I am MRSA free.However, after what I experienced I can’t stop the precautions.

I still feel wounded…wounded inside and outside…I had a total of 12 abscesses…and this is my story as a MRSA survivor.

Charlotte

My daughter Charlotte was 8 months old when she was hospitalized with a MRSA infection in her leg. When we arrived at the hospital, she did not have a fever, less than two hours later her temperature was almost 104. She was given antibiotics and fever reducers immediately. After three days of not responding well to the antibiotics, she was transferred to a different hospital where they performed surgery on her leg to remove as much puss from the infection as possible. After the surgery she began responding to the antibiotics and we were released a few days later. She gets biweekly bleach baths to prevent the MRSA from coming back. When a spot appears, I put the antibiotic cream on it right away. Kids with weak immune systems, like babies with immune systems that aren’t developed yet, can get MRSA very easily from practically anywhere. The park, a high chair, a shopping cart, or one out of every three people who carry the bacteria on their skin are a threat. My baby girl had an angel on her side that day. We got her to the hospital just in time. She went 6 months without having an outbreak. Two weeks ago she went to the park and I did not give her a bleach bath when we got home. She broke out with MRSA a couple days later. I caught it right away and treated it. It’s almost gone now. I wish MRSA had more awareness so people knew what I have to do to protect my daughter from the bacteria. MRSA has totally changed our lives.

Melissa -45

My name is Melissa. I am 45 years old. I contacted mrsa 7 years ago while working at a hospital. I recently had a red bump under my arm .It never occurred to me that it would be mrsa .I thought I cut myself shaving. The very next day I began feeling tired and achy. It got worse as the day went on. The bump was bigger, red and very sore. Within hours I had a fever of 103. It was Sunday so I went to urgent care. At this point I knew It was mrsa. The DR. cut it and drained it. I was too sick to get out of bed .I work at Walmart. I did not go to work for 3 day’s. When I returned to work I was immediately written up. I explained to my assistant manager I was very sick with mrsa and also contagious. In my write up I am required to write a statement to not let it happen again. I did not know what to say other than If I get mrsa in the future I will come to work even if I am contagious. My manager and I both signed it. Of course I would never come to work knowing I was contagious. I just had to tell Walmart that I would. Walmart is sick and wrong. You may post this on your web site but do not include my email address. Thank you.

Matthew

I woke up one morning about three months ago with what looked like a pimple or ingrown hair down in my pubic region. Except whatever this was, it was very painful after a day or two it was so painful I needed help to walk and couldn’t stand very long. I went to the local E R and was sent home with a script for 10 vicoden and a script of bactrim. Two days later I was in so much pain I was crying like a baby. The bactrim wasn’t working and I had ran out of my 10 vicoden. I went to a different E R in my town. This time they rushed me in and admitted me right away. I was told my body was a having a severe infection and I was put on a morphine pump along with several IV antibiotics. They drained the abscess in my groin and lanced it in the ER. It still wasn’t getting any better so I had surgery within a few days and the surgeon put some drainage tubes in. During the surgery I stopped breathing. The Dr ended up getting me breathing again but it was the most traumatic thing for me. Just recently I had another m.r.s.a infection and have been very fatigued and on antibiotic after antibiotic. This one started in my septum/nasal area and has been healing so far without being hospitalized. Before M.R.S.A., I was an athletic 6″2 225 pretty much all muscle and now I’m weighing in at 185 and lots of muscle loss. I don’t look like the same person. I recently ran into a friend and he asked me if I was on drugs because of the way I looked. It seems there’s such a stigma with m.r.s.a Its amazing how m.r.s.a. attacked me. I’m not the same person mentally or physically as I used to be. Hope we find a cure for this disease sooner than later.

Kristin – 29, Pennsylvania

I gave birth naturally to my first child, a son, on July 25, 2012. I breastfed him for about 2 weeks when I started to get a sore left breast. In addition to the soreness, I noticed a lump in my breast that I could not massage away as you should be able to do with a case of mastitis. I have a strong family history of breast cancer, so I immediately wanted to get checked out. I called my doctor still thinking it was just mastitis, but better safe than sorry. At my appointment, the doctor agreed and put me on medication for mastitis, but after two days of taking the medicine my breast was getting much, much worse instead of better. My entire breast was rock hard and bright red. There was also a strange brown spot beginning to form. I called and returned to the doctor that day.

After being looked at again, they made an immediate appointment for me to have the lump drained and tested. This was on Friday. I had a follow-up appointment scheduled for Monday but was told to call again if things got worse. Saturday morning, the brown spot seemed to be oozing. I called the doctor’s office again and the doctor on call that weekend told me to go to the ER. When I got to the ER, they were able to get the results of the draining. MRSA. We drove to the hospital that night and again, I had to wait in an ER. I was looked at by numerous people; doctors, residents, nurses, etc. I had countless ultrasounds done on my breast by now. I ended up staying in the hospital for three nights hooked to IVs with medicine. Keep in mind, my baby boy was only 2 weeks old and an hour away. My breasts were still producing milk. I was told to wean immediately. There is very little and contradictory information regarding breastfeeding during and after a MRSA infection. (As a side note, I’ve found threads online with so many women who have experienced this exact same thing asking the same questions and getting no answers…).

I massaged my breast while on my hands and knees to get the pus completely out. I did this for hours. For days. I had to pull out of my breast two long, large clumps of pus that blocked the hole in my breast. Yes, the hole that was draining. In hindsight, I don’t know how I made it through all of this. It took a few months for the wounds to finally heal. It looked like red, raw meat for the longest time. Now, I’m left with two scars, a faint memory, and a handsome baby boy.

Rick – Michigan

I was first diagnosed in 2007 when I went to an urgent care facility with what I thought was a boil. Two days later I saw my primary doctor because it had gotten worse. He biopsied the abscess and found it to be MRSA. I was immediately hospitalized and received IV treatments of Vancomycin for 3 days. I was released from the hospital and the wounds (I ended up with 3) healed. At a follow-up visit, my doctor told me that I was cured and shouldn’t have any further issues. Well, needless to say I was back in the hospital 2 months later for 3 more days and had 2 IV bags of Vancomycin administered each day I was there. During both hospital stays I had surgical procedures done to remove the infected tissue.

I am currently battling an outbreak on my left knee that has rendered me almost unable to walk on it. Everything that I have read about side effects and mental state are true. I get very depressed when I see/feel an outbreak coming on and my family sometimes has to pay the price for my depression. I hope someday to be cured or somehow reduce the frequency of the outbreaks. Until then, I will continue to battle……

Laurie – 49, Ohio

I developed Septic MRSA after hitting my leg and getting an ulceration, the infection spread so rapidly the doctors told my mother to make arrangements, this was 2004 when MRSA was one of the most horrific killers of anyone who contracted it. My case set the standards of care through the CDC. I am now MRSA Free with a bad outcome years later. It has affected my heart forever. I am on meds to keep the PVCs under control caused by the sluggish beats my heart took during the first stages of infection, my heart, lungs and brain were full of infection that lasted for months. Now 8 years later we have come a long way, but had the proper equipment been used during a biopsy, and the disallowance of a PDA in a sterile atmosphere I wouldn’t be telling you this story. The CDC confirmed and controlled my case. I was a very sick lady. But I’m here now and please, please let others know that no matter what you do, watch what a doctor takes out of his pocket. And follow up with doctors if you suspect any infection. It could have been the death of me had a neighbor not called 911. They said I walked out the door and collapsed and went into a seizure. My fever was documented on record 106.9. 14 hours after a biopsy. It’s nothing to play with. Good luck all the way around to one and all.

Jim

My dear husband, Jim, died from MRSA Sepsis on January 15, 2011. In 2005 he had contracted MRSA after a hospital stay and had to have a picc line inserted for antibiotics. Since that time we never thought anymore about the MRSA … we just lived our lives.

In August 2010 Jim was diagnosed with myelodysplasia (pre-leukemia) and for treatment was put on immune suppression drugs. As a result of his immune system being compromised the MRSA raised its ugly head. It came to his spine and to the port in his shoulder. Our December birthdays and Christmas came and went and Jim was so sick there was no recognition of any of these.

He was in the hospital for 5 weeks with septic shock and MRSA and never recovered. We miss him terribly and know now that mrsa is deadly and hopefully research will tackle this someday.

Olivia – 8

Olivia was 4 when a mosquito bite turned into an MRSA infection she got from the South Padre Island coast where we had just finished vacationing. She took a 5 hour nap and woke up not being able to walk with extremely high fever. The bite was on her left leg just below her butt cheek. We visited the doctor for 3 consecutive days and was told it was staph although no one tests for MRSA until it was way too late. By the time they operated 5 days later, the infection was the size of a cantaloupe on the back side of a very small 4 year old leg. She was non-responsive to all medicines, her fever was rising and one medical error turned into another. After 5 days she was sent into have an extensive surgery with canals splitting into 5 different directions through her muscles. Her wound was too large to surgically close so it had to heal as an open wound. She then got e.coli from taking baths at the doctors orders and was in the hospital for 14 days. She was one of the first her age to get a wound vacuum that she kept for one month after leaving the hospital. She continued to be ill for the following year in every way after her immune system was completely destroyed as a result of MRSA.

Olivia has since returned to a normal and active 8 year old. She remembers every last bit of pain and conversation while in the hospital and she will never look at doctors the same. She is now experiencing leg pains again around the area of her surgery. We are assuming the pain is from growing and the breaking of the scar tissue but we will visit doctors again to resolve this. Olivia has been fortunate enough to not have had MRSA return and I pray the rest for you all.

Caleb – Texas

I am the mother of Caleb. His story is on your survivor page. That was 2 year ago. I want to say that today we are staph free. We are all now carriers of MRSA though. Caleb has not had an active infection in a while though. Since posting that story it was found that he has an autoimmune disorder that attacks his brain, skin, and lungs. Which is what they previously thought was eczema and could not control because his skin was literally all sores. Now he is on IVIG and also home infusions of immunoglobulins which are helping his immune system. So as long as his immune system does not attack his skin he has no breakage in it to let the MRSA take over again. So far so good. We will always have to be on the look out for it though. Caleb also has since been diagnosed with Autism. He still has a long road ahead of him but we have hope now. Thank you for your page and the support you gave to me when I so desperately needed it. I will never forget the kindness you showed to us.

Helena – So. Carolina

I am from Camden, South Carolina. I went in for a yearly check up in October and I had these bumps on my right leg and they didn’t itch. They just HURT really badly. They told me they were insect bites or fleabites. Then the bumps went to my left leg. By this time, it is about late November, and my knee on my left leg began to swell. The bump looked like a very large blister waiting to bust. These are no ordinary bumps mind you. The bumps are a deep red on the outside and they felt like they were pulling my skin into them and on the outside of the bumps the skin was taught. The center of the bump was black.

By December, they were no better but worse. Seeing as though that doctor was not helping I went to a local Dr’s Care and the doctor took one look at my knee and told me to go straight to the hospital and get put on IV antibiotics, and he would call and inform the hospital of what was going on. I was finally sent to a room and the nurse’s started asking questions about what happened.

He thought he would have to amputate my leg because it was racing up toward my hip. My parents later told me, as he was preparing them for the worst he started to cry and prayed for me.

While at Kershaw I was quarantined to my own room. I had my own plastic stethoscope, thermometer and when family and friends came to visit me they had to put on operating type gowns, gloves and masks. On December 8th, I was discharged and sent by ambulance to Palmetto Richland Memorial in Columbia. On the ride there, my temperature rose to 107 degrees. The surgeons at Richland said my leg had the cleanest debridement they have ever seen. They had to operate on me two times a day or more to do debridement. I received hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBO). I never heard of it before so I thought I was going to watch movies LOL!! Around January 11th, they have done a full thickness skin graft. They took the skin from my right thigh. My leg looks good considering everything. It has healed considerably fast since I have been homeUpdate: The latest news is I noticed bumps about a week ago popping up on my left leg and I went to Dr’s Care on Tuesday and she said the 4 letters that I dread to hear. When she did, my heart sank. She said that they now know what it is and told me it will not get as bad as before because she knows what it is and how to treat him. Since I been home I worried that I still had it and my worst fear came true. The doctor seems to think that I came home with it and was shocked to learn that before I left the hospital they did not do a culture of my nose before I left.

Meghan – 27

I contracted MRSA after a spinal fusion in 2010. I had a low grade fever the day I was discharged and the drainage looked infected. I told the nurse this and she said I was fine. I had the surgery in Birmingham and when I was discharged I went home with my mom to Huntsville. Two days later I felt like I had the flu and still had the low-grade fever. I also was constantly shivering. My mom called the online doctor and told him what was going on and he said to just wait until I got my stitches out in 10 days and that my symptoms were “normal.” Now I realize that he should have sent me straight to the ER in Huntsville. I had had meningitis and encephalitis in 2003 and this should have been a red flag about my immune system. Four days later, my mom called my surgeon’s office and asked the nurse what to do. The nurse said I would be fine. The nurse told us to come in the next day. Again, I wish they would have sent me straight to the hospital in Huntsville. When we got down there, my surgeon was extremely worried and sent me straight to the hospital for emergency surgery and antibiotics. By the time I was finally seen, I was septic with MRSA. I had to endure another surgery and have a PICC line It was really traumatic. I never realized how lucky I was to survive until I read the urgency of treating MRSA sepsis. I just hope that people go with their instincts and go to the hospital. My doctor should have sent me straight to the hospital but he didn’t. It seems so simple now because most of my symptoms were big red flags. So, people should go with their instincts because a doctor doesn’t always have the right answers and no one cares more about your health than you.

Kristy, 27 & My daughter, Noelle, 2 – Brooklyn, New York

I delivered my daughter via C-Section on March 16, 2010. After being sent home, I was unable to stand up straight, was in excruciating pain, and hunched over. When I looked at the the scar to see how it was healing a few days later, was when i discovered something was not right. My mother (who is an R.N) immediately called my doctor. The next few months are a blur, constant ER visits, doctor visits and the horrifying news of being diagnosed with MRSA. I tested positive for it 6 times. I didn’t understand what it was, I was scared, angry, and I had my new beautiful baby to care for and I couldn’t. The pain took over, depression set in, and i was forced to take precautions around her. I changed her with gloves on, I NEVER, if you can believe it, kissed her; the fear of giving this painful ordeal to her CONSTANTLY weighed on my mind. I was assured by many different physicians who treated me, she would not contract it, if I were careful, because I didn’t have it at the time of my delivery and it was “caught early”. My last outbreak was July 11, 2010.

On July 29th 2010, 4 month old Noelle woke up what appeared to be a swelled mosquito bite. It was July, a hot summer and we took frequent night walks in her carriage (she was also colic). My worst fear was confirmed when to “ease my mind” I brought her to the pediatrician that morning just to have the “bite” checked. She’s 2 & 1/2 now, and we’ve lost count to how many outbreaks she’s had. They have become so frequent, we’re actually at the tail-end of an outbreak now. Her peditrician puts her on a regime of antibiotics, altabax ointment, warm compresses’, etc.. We’ve seen 3 specialists, and there are no answers. I thank god for her pediatrician, and their staff who are always available, our balance in their office has swelled, as our co-payments are high and frequent, but they never ask, I’m assuming they understand the pain not only she feels, but we, as parents feel. Aside from 3 outbreaks, she always tests positive for MRSA. We try now, as we always have, to do what we can to prevent it, but it’s not always in our favor, which is frustrating. I’m so HAPPY to have found this site, while looking for more information to devour on this highly underrated infection. We will support, and spread the word of this site and are so thankful to have found a place to see others are going through what we are. We pray one day, this will all be over, for me, for my daughter and for all of us.

Tamara 35 yrs old from Nebraska

I am 35 yrs old and live in Nebraska I was finally diagnosed with MRSA in my sinuses after a month long battle with doctors. It started with a simple cold then headache that didn’t go away. I made two trips to th E.R. had catscan done spinal tapp done put on pain meds and two different antibiotics. The headaches became dibilitating and I couldn’t work, I was referred to a neurologist and he said I had an infection but, wasn’t concerned about that and put me on depression meds to minimize the headaches.

I got so mad I demanded to see the E.N.T. after an M.R.I. and another catscan they finally swabbed my sinuses and it came back positive for MRSA. Now I have to watch my family and friends to make sure they don’t get it and I know I’m in for a long journey to recovery since my daughter had it 7 years ago and it took a year for her recovery and that was on her labia caused from diaper rash. I’m still miserable with the same headache it’s been just over a month and I’m just now starting treatment.

Susie- North Fla.

My story is different than most others. I was injected directly into each hip and next to my spine, the medicine was contaminated with the staph bacteria. That was March 2008, I went into septic shock and renal; failure. I almost died, I was infected and had brown abscesses all over my feet and legs, huge abscesses inside my back and hips. My joints cartilage is gone, my right shoulder has no rotator cuff, and is very painful, my hips and back are basically trash, I use a walked and sometimes my power chair, I will never work again, and am unable to completely care for myself or my husband and house, He taught me to wall again, and helped with PICC lines and meds, for the months after I finally came home. I think I am one of a few who has had this deadly bacteria injected directly into their body, After 4 1/2 years, I still am very sick woman, but God has kept me thru this, I would love to chat with others who have survived this.

Malea

I contracted MRSA my sophomore year of high school. I was in a class that was for Lifeguard/CPR certification, and the other girls and I shared a large, tile shower room, with what I realized to have been the worst thing the public school system could do, bacteria and infectious disease wise. Several weeks into the class, I noticed some large red bumps on my left shin, and as they got larger, I eventually had to go to Urgent Care as they were just so painful. The doctor cultured it, and after sitting down with my mom and I confirmed that it was MRSA. I, being only 15 and having heard stories of MRSA, began to cry out of fear. The doctor reassured me that there were antibiotics and treatments I could do for it and it would clear up in a little bit. I started taking Bactrum, but after a little while we realized I was immune to it. I tried taking Septra, but I was also immune to that. Then I was put on Clyndamiacin and it proved to work. So that cleared up, and I thought I was fine. Then it made another appearance on my left leg. I took the Clyndamiacin and within a week or so it was cleared up. Then, in the spring of my junior year, the worst outbreak occurred. I had chapped lips, and thinking nothing of it, would always pull my bottom lip into my mouth out of habit to make it less rough since it was so chapped. Well, it slowly began to swell and at first I didn’t know what to make of it. Then it got painful and bigger and bigger and so I finally had to go to the dermatologist, where my step mother works. After painfully injecting it with numbing medication, they then cut into it allowing it to drain and also take a culture, which was confirmed as MRSA. I was sent home with a prescription for Bactrum, not remembering that I am immune to it. So over the course of the next few week, it continued to grow, becoming so large and painful that I couldn’t even go to school as it became difficult to even close my mouth, and I wasn’t able to eat more than broth and water. Then, it began to spread into my jaw and gum. The pain was explosive, I would lay on the couch home alone just crying loudly for the pain to stop. Once, the pain was so bad that I couldn’t even think clearly. I accidentally took 3 Vicodin, 3 Hydrocodin, and 2 antibiotics. I ended up flat on my back on the kitchen floor unable to move. I then, out of nowhere, turned to my side and threw up, which, in the dark looked like pure blood as I had ingested a berry smoothie about an hour before but I was so loopy I couldn’t remember. I screamed the loudest screeches I ever had, calling for my step sister upstairs, who then saw the floor and me collapsed and called 911. I was taken to the ER, trying to stay awake because the pain meds were trying to knock me out. I managed to throw up enough that they didn’t need to do anything except monitor me for a little while. Though the problem of my lip was still present. Over the next several days, it became unbearable, I was taken to the dermatologist, and he said I needed to be admitted to Presbyterian Hospital immediately due to how far the MRSA had spread. I was admitted, had an IV of morphine and finally the right antibiotic given to me. Over the next several days, the infection slowed down, a doctor came in and drained the golf ball sized abscess, causing it to go down dramatically. I was finally able to eat food again, after going probably 2 weeks without anything solid. I don’t know how much weight I had lost, but I was very weak and needed help getting to the shower or bathroom or anything. Slowly, I recovered and was sent home, finally returning to school after a week and a half absence. MRSA is not fun. Please wash your hands and don’t treat it like it’s just something to be taken lightly. From my story alone, you can see how awful and dangerous MRSA is.

Teri, age 23 – TN

Hello, my name Teri and my MRSA story began shortly after I turned just 19 years old. I was in college to be a nurse and had to take a break from school to have a softball-sized tumor removed off of my right kidney. Before my infection, I had previous tumors removed from the same kidney, but this time I went to a different doctor. After the doctor had removed the tumor, he walked out of the room and told the observing resident to put a JP drainage tube in me and then sew/staple up my incision. Since the kid was a resident and the doctor had left the room, the resident didn’t do the drainage tube right. He sewed the end of the tube about 4 or 5 inches deep inside of me and 2 days later the attending nurse tried and tried to pull the drainage tube out with no luck and only damaging my tissues even more. The next day when I woke up I noticed a green substance oozing out of the wound where the tube was and even though I told them it was painful only in that area, they still released me and didn’t remove the tube until a week and a half later and when the doctor removed it, he completely sewed up the incision site. Just a few short days later, I had to be rushed to the ER because my blood had become septic and toxic due to the MRSA infection (that I had gotten from the hospital and all the doctors and nurses had ignored). After that, the doctor had to go in 6 times within 2 months to surgically clean out my wound, which was 12 inches long and each time opening up the incision little by little. For the next year, as the incision had to heal from the inside out, I had to change the dressings 3-6 times a day, using a whole large roll of gauze each time and the incision was, like I said, 12 inches long and longer than the length of my fingers. Because of the infection, the doctor removed all evidence of the infection out of my medical file so I couldn’t sue, which I tried, and I can no longer continue to go to college to be a nurse because the MRSA infection has caused me to be too much of a liability to any doctors’ office or hospital due to the potential of possibly passing it on to a patient, even though I haven’t had any other break outs in 4 years. To this day, I still have pain because he didn’t fix my kidney problems like he said would be taken care of and pain also due to all the scar tissue and of course the emotional pain of not being able to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse. So people, please, PLEASE do all the research you can before seeing any doctor before any type of surgery, especially for your children.

Jackie

I’ve had MRSA for a while now and like so many others nothing has seemed to work for me. My doctor has finally made a plan for me. It lasts for a year. I still have until March of next year until I’m done, but I haven’t had any problems since I’ve started. I hope this helps. I’m taking rifampin and clindamycin 1 capsule twice a day for five days every six weeks. That’s for eight cycles. I’m also taking diluted bleach baths twice a week for 15 minutes. And I change my clothes daily, my towel every three days, and my sheets every week. Plus vitamin C every day. I really hope this works for me and other people as well. Ask your doctor about it!

Jessica – 28 yrs old from California

My name is Jessica, I’m 28 years old from Oroville California, and coming up on my 1st anniversary of MRSA Survival. In 2009 I started noticing a weird growth on my left big toe. At first I attributed it to an ingrown toenail. I had just started attending Chico State and went to their health center to see what they could do for it. The doctors were nice and on finals week I had the first ingrown toenail removal.

The funny thing was that the toe wasn’t healing right. I kept taking care of it yet it would look okay, but still not return to normal. Then one day I was watching “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” on Demand and the first case was about an athlete who had a skin infection that turned out to be MRSA and he died from it. I was terrified, since his story started out eerily similar to mine. Unfortunately lack of funds meant not being able to get it checked out. Last September I was in Jujitsu and my uki (training partner) accidentally bumped that toe. It was agony. Sensei Ken took me off to the side of the mat and took a look at it. He peeled off the taping and bandage job I did I was embarrassed and prayed I didn’t have… MRSA.

I was diagnosed with MRSA two days later, September 23rd, 2011. Dr. Schroll took a sample of the tissue and it came back positive. I felt as if a death sentence had been placed on my shoulders. At that moment I knew how mom felt when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Dr. Schroll went over how to stop the infection from spreading, but at the time I don’t remember what she said. I was prescribed a week’s worth of heavy antibiotics along with other medication I can’t remember at this moment. When I got home, after informing my family that did have MRSA, I cried. I took the medication as prescribed and it did help a lot.

I avoided going to the dojo until I was sure I wasn’t contagious. The last thing I wanted was for anyone of my dojo brothers and sisters to get it from me. Even though the health center staff assured me that if I kept it taped up and covered I would be fine. This past June I’ve returned to the Chico Kodenkan, the toe still hasn’t healed all the way back to normal but it doesn’t hurt and it’s looking better.

12 year old Boy – Massachusetts

12-year old son attended a week-long camp in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts as part of his 7th grade science curriculum in the fall of 2011. I knew something wasn’t “right” when I picked him up after the students were dropped off after their 2 hour bus ride home upon return from Nature’s Classroom. He was listless and aggravated, and said he needed to sleep. I thought to check with the school nurse who had accompanied the students as to whether my son had complained of any illness during the stay, but she had nothing to report. My son’s fatigue was out of character. That was a red flag for me. He showered and was in a deep sleep in his bed by 5 pm. When I checked in on him at 10 pm, he was hot, and an ear thermometer showed a fever of 102, which did not budge despite Tylenol. He had started to cough, very deep and unproductive. The next morning I insisted our family doctor take lung films. It may have seemed premature, but I knew the deep, deep fatigue likely meant his blood wasn’t completely oxygenated and I suspected the start of pneumonia. And sure enough, his blood oxygen came back low. Lung XRAY showed pneumonia in his right lung, and he was prescribed an antibiotic which began to work immediately.

However, within two weeks, the pneumonia returned, and he was prescribed a second and different antibiotic, and steroids. It was during this treatment he woke with a groin infection. The infection presented as inflamed, stretched tissue, with pain he described at 5 on a scale of 1-10. I immediately drove him to the emergency room associated with our primary family doctor where he was immediately administered IV antibiotics. I knew the infections – lung and groin – were connected, but the ER staff disagreed. Somehow all of it was connected was my thought – Nature’s Classroom, two rounds of pneumonia, groin infection – and this would later be confirmed.

He was released with additional antibiotic (by mouth), with the ER IV having cleaned up the infection. But when he completed the antibiotic regimen, the groin infection returned. At this point, I secured an appointment with an Immunologist and infection control specialist. As it turned out, my son had MRSA colonization – massive and aggressive – in both nares. My sense is during his Nature’s Classroom stay where children sleep in dorms where a class has just left and another has come in (such little time for any real disinfecting) my son picked up MRSA where it took up residence in one its favorite places: The nose. MRSA entered his lungs via his respiratory process. And because MRSA in his case was on top of tissue and antibiotics work through blood, the MRSA in his nose continued to thrive as all of his antibiotics did not touch it. The groin infections were the result of him rubbing his nose or blowing his nose, not washing his hands, and later going to the bathroom.

We were able to kill off the MRSA colonization with a topical antibiotic applied like clockwork and later a bleach solution. He’s been incident free since.

The reason I am compelled to write is I want to encourage parents to follow their intuition and insist on follow-up and answers until your child’s situation makes sense. My son’s story could have had disastrous results if I didn’t insist there was a connection to the pneumonia and groin infections. I also encourage parents to be certain camps and other facilities your child may be attending have a clear, published, and thorough infection control process in place. In the case of my son’s camp, there was clearly no time in-between school visits for dorms where kids sleep on open mattresses to be sanitized properly with the next group arriving the same day.

Ellen, 2001

I shattered my ankle requiring an eternal fixture and after removal they implanted plates in my ankle. Immediately developed MRSA in bone resulting in a year and a half of massive antibiotics and 8 additional surgeries to clean out the infection. Eventually I developed a sinus in that ankle that was so embarrassing because it would drain without notice. So I wore a bandAid for years. Well, I began to take vitamin B12 about 18 months ago for energy and discovered a happy side effect, my drainage stopped and the skin around has healed and looks relatively healthy – even though it is a horrific scar. I send this to you so that you can pass it along in the event it can help someone else who suffers from that same problem.

Janet

My story started the end of May 2008, I had a minor medical procedure done. A few days later I noticed redness and pain on my stomach. I got very sick with fever, chills, very aching joints in legs, flu like symptoms and a rather large boil on my hip. I was admitted to the hospital and had it surgically drained, I was put on IV antibiotics for a week. While I was in there my swab came back positive for MRSA and was quarantined off by myself. Since then I have been battling this disease non- stop. I have been in the hospital around 28 times over the past 4 yrs. I have been through hell with these painful, scarring sores. I have had them on my legs, armpits, stomach, hips face, and bottom. I get put under and have these cut open(they are big boils). I would get them packed daily while being in the hospital. I have been on vancomycin numerous times ( which is a very hard drug on your veins) I have even developed new infections while being in the hospital. I have been to infectious disease docs. and tried many different things to get rid of this, to no avail. As I am writing this I am suffering with two painful sores. I do not want to be in the hospital anymore. I have 4 young children and a husband at home who need me. I feel guilty when I am in the hospital for over a week at a time, my children get very upset and don’t understand that I have to be away. I will continue to fight this awful, life altering disease. So I like to say that I am an “ON-GOING SURVIVOR” of MRSA.

Stephen, 31

The story is about my son Stephen who has to date survived MRSA. My nightmare began the day after Thanksgiving 2006. Stephen, then 24 yrs old was in the military and had served a year in Korea and had been deployed to Iraq several times over the course of his enlistment since 2000. His last deployment was to Iraq in 2006. He returned home in July of that year with lesions on his arms and legs that appeared to him to be ‘spider bites’. They were not healing and having grown up in Texas, he was concerned that they might be from a brown recluse, so he went to sick bay and was diagnosed with MRSA. They lanced them and gave him medications. They seemed to be healing just fine and within a few weeks all seemed to be healed, so he thought nothing more of it. However, shortly thereafter he began having stomach issues that were misdiagnosed as a result was given medication to relieve ‘Acid Reflux’. He then began having lower back pain and again was misdiagnosed and treated with muscle relaxers and cortisone injections for ‘pulled muscles’.

He continued his daily PT training, which was becoming increasingly more difficult. He was getting short winded and was tiring very easily. In September he began having ‘flu-like’ symptoms, which soon progressed into respiratory problems. Upon one of his visits home to Texas, I had noticed that his skin coloring was not good, and upon questioning him, he told me that he had been sick. I urged him to go to the doctor as I did not like what I saw. During that particular visit he had a seizure and had fallen in the bathroom against one of the cabinet doors and broke it, which he did not recall. His symptoms progressively got worse upon his return to Ft. Bragg.

The day after Thanksgiving 2006, he began vomiting profusely and could not stop. He went to the ER and was admitted into the hospital. I flew out from Texas to North Carolina to be with him and was shocked at his appearance whenever I arrived. He was very yellow and was very sick. The doctors still at this time had not determined that the MRSA had gone into his bloodstream, although they did say that for whatever reason, his kidneys were not functioning. They sent him to UNC for a kidney biopsy to see if they could determine the cause. At that time, they informed us that he would be quarantined as he tested positive for MRSA. They placed him on Dialysis. The biopsy was inconclusive. The kidneys were so far gone that they could not even determine the cause. They still did not indicate that MRSA might have been the culprit. He was hospitalized for about two weeks and then sent home to continue Dialysis as an outpatient. He was placed on sick leave with the Army, and remained on base in his home.

He continued to get worse over the following months and began having seizures that were sometimes very severe. I had returned home to Texas for a short period and his older brother stayed with him in my absence. He began having problems walking so much so that it got to the point that my older son had to lift him in and out of bed and onto the toilet. I returned shortly after hearing this and was in utter disbelief when I seen him. He looked like he had just been released from a concentration camp. Every bone in his body was protruding and he looked like death warmed over. I began calling everyone I could think of that might be able to intervene. I called Congressmen, Senators, etc. I finally got someone to take action and his Commanding Officer was sent to his house. Upon seeing his condition, he immediately took action and had him transported overnight to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Upon his arrival, they were aghast at his condition. After a few tests, they informed us that he was very critical. We were told that they were going to do everything that they could to help him. Over the course of the following days, he flat lined three times. The doctors informed us that he had MRSA all throughout his bloodstream and this was most likely the cause of his kidney failure. He was very septic. The MRSA had attached itself to his pelvic bone and eaten it up, had eaten holes in his lungs, caused congestive heart failure and had gone into his brain and caused Encephalitis. He also lost his hearing in one ear and partial vision in one eye. The doctors told us that he was very lucky to be alive. MRSA in the bloodstream normally attaches itself to the vital organs and most people don’t survive. They told us given his current condition they could not believe he was alive and that most likely the fact that he was a soldier, and in top physical condition at the time this happened, was most likely the reason he was alive. We were also told that he was going to have a very long road ahead if he pulled through.

The doctors began administering a cocktail of Vancomycin and Rifampin, continued daily dialysis and was given Morphine for his pain. We spent the next nine months at Walter Reed. Shortly before his release in October 2007, he was able to stand on his own for a few seconds one night in his room. Upon his release from Walter Reed, he was medically retired from the Army. We returned to Texas where he continued the cocktail of antibiotics, morphine and dialysis. He had a very strong determination and continued to take small steps toward walking again and eventually was able to do so with the use of a walking cane.

We moved to Georgia in 2009 and in early 2010 he was told that he could finally stop the antibiotics. A few months later they declared the MRSA inactive. In March of 2010 he underwent a temporary hip replacement to try and alleviate some of his pain. They continued to monitor his blood and by June of 2011 determined the MRSA still to be inactive in his body. As a result, in August of 2011, he was given a permanent hip replacement. He is now free of any pain and no longer requires Morphine or any other form of pain medication. He was informed after the surgery that all tests indicated that he was 100% free and clear of any MRSA in his body. I perceive this as a miracle as we were previously told that MRSA will always be present, it will just not always be active.

At the time of this posting, March 2012, he remains on Dialysis awaiting a kidney transplant. Testing is underway with family members and we have great encouragement that it will occur this year.

Stephen just turned 31 last week and my hope in telling our story is that people will become keenly aware of just how dangerous MRSA really is and can see the vast devastation it can cause. Stephen still has a long road ahead as MRSA has forever changed his life. He will never again be able to live a ‘normal’ life. After receiving his transplant, he will be on anti-rejection drugs the remainder of his life, which due to all the above likely will shorter than it would have been.

David

In the fall of 2009 in September it all started with what looked like an infected hair on the back of my thigh. It became very swollen and painful to the point I had trouble walking. After going home I began to have chills and body aches so my wife drove me to the hospital. After arriving at the ER I told them that I had some type of an infection and showed them my leg. The facility did nothing.. not even draw blood or do any tests or even attempt to give me any kind of relief. At this point I was in the early stages of sepsis so I had body aches and a fever and was given a RX for antibiotics and sent home basically in my opinion to die because the doctor was lazy and he was able to diagnose me in the 2 seconds he was in the room. So I went home and went to bed I woke up the next morning so I took the first dose this was around 8am. I was awoken by my wife around noonish and apparently she had been shaking me and I was unresponsive for about 3-5 minutes. My body began to hurt so bad and I began to shake and I felt so cold yet I was sweating. I knew something was very wrong as I could barely move and I was in and out of consciousness and time was moving very fast -I was confused. My wife had called for an ambulance (same ambulance I work for and probably contracted this) And then the ambulance crew got there and I remember my coworkers looking very concerned and moving me to the ambulance very fast. I was rushed to the hospital and was given what is referred to as a SEPSIS ALERT. They performed multiple tests on me including a lumbar puncture which was scary in itself. I woke up around 7pm that evening completely drenched in sweat with IV tubing and bags everywhere. I was informed by the doctor that I was lucky to be alive and that I had a fever above 104 for over 5 hours and that if I had not been found I would likely have gone into a coma and died. I was admitted to the hospital overnight and was given more antibiotics and was released the following afternoon about 24 hours after this had all began. After going home I thought I felt normal but slowly began to notice some changes and I was having trouble thinking or speaking. My doctor stated that my brain would slowly recover and that it could take a few months or longer and that I could notice some personality changes but my brain was basically rewiring itself. So this lead to some depression and due to the experience I began living life very fast, burning the candle at both ends going out with friends and trying to never miss an opportunity to do stuff. I thought that this was over and I wouldn’t have to deal with this infection again…well I was wrong I would have 8 re-occurrences in the first year alone some on my legs some on my neck and some on my butt. I was in pain and miserable and mad that nothing was working…Finally I started researching stuff and found some ideas for treatment that I suggested to my doctor, first I tried high strength antibiotics and this worked till my stomach began to not like it and I kept getting sick..I finally found Mupirocin or its generic name Bactroban which is used for the treatment and prevention of MRSA. I used this for awhile and I didn’t have an outbreak for over a year in the 2010-2011 time frame then just this March I had a double outbreak one on my leg and one on my butt both very painful. I can only hope this stops someday. I can’t take the pain anymore, I want to go back to living a happy pain free life but I know this will never happen as this thing will always live in me and occasionally rear its ugly boiled head and cause me pain and suffering.

A MRSA Survivor so far…

Radhika

Survivor StoryAugust 2011. My daughter was 14 months old at the time. She was down with a fever beginning Saturday, and Monday we took her to the doctor. They told us just give her Tylenol every 4 hours and she should be fine, and to bring her back if she continues to have a fever 24 hours. Over the course of the next 24 hours she became very weak, lost her playfulness, and literally just laid around. We again took her to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning and she had a fever of 104.9 and her lymph nodes on the side of her neck seemed swollen. They immediately did a urine test with a catheter to test for any type of bacterial infection, which came negative. We were then told to admit her into the hospital right away, and as a mother hearing that, my heart just dropped and I couldn’t stop crying. The next 7 days were the most horrible days of my life. Over the course of the next 5 days she was placed on an IV; she had two MRI’s of heart and lungs on two separate occasions; she had blood drawn from her at least twice a day; twice they put her in a baby tube and did chest x-rays ; every hour and half they came and check her temperature through her bottom along with giving her high doses of Motrin and Tylenol every other hour to keep the fever down; quickly being undressed by nurses and being placed on ice packs every time her fever spiked. Seeing her crying hysterically and going through all these procedures, and 5 days later, all her test were still coming negative; doctors still had no idea what was wrong with her. That little body had had more procedures done on her than I have ever had in my whole lifetime. Her only symptom was spiking fevers of 104.9. Doctors were swaying between it being Kawasaki’s disease or Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis. After 5 days, finally a blood culture came back and doctors were able to tell us she had MRSA in her blood stream and also told us that because it was in her blood stream it was deadly. After telling us the bad news he also told us he had started her on vancomycin two days prior on a “hunch”. He explained vancomycin was the antibiotic used to treat that family of bacteria. By the following Tuesday she was showing signs of improvement; her fever was under control and her swollen lymph node went back to normal; she was sedated to put a PICC line in her, and we were fortunate to bring our daughter home that evening. We administered antibiotics through her PICC line for the two weeks. Luckily, we had a very good doctor, and who had a good “hunch”, AND a daughter who was a trooper. We survived MRSA.

Delores

My name is Delores. I was first diagnosed with MRSA in April of 2010. I knew I wasn’t feeling well and from an early age got cysts in certain areas of my body. I would normally get 1 every couple months. I awoke one morning to find HUGE cysts under both my arms, had an alarming fever and pain I could not even put into words. I had no idea what MRSA was so when the Dr told me I had the “H” strain of MRSA I had no idea what I would be dealing with. I never imagined it would control my life for almost 2 years now. I have had 7 operations, PIC lines placed 3 separate times for IV medications for over 14 weeks & numerous hospital stays. My immune system has been compromised on numerous occasions to the point I didn’t leave my home for fear of getting even sicker. People who do not understand MRSA can not begin to grasp the effect it has on you, not just physically, but also mentally & emotionally. I am lucky because I have great doctors and an amazing support system to rely on. I am still dealing with MRSA now so I don’t know if I can call myself a MRSA survivor, but I AM A MRSA FIGHTER! Thank you for having a place where we can go. It helps to know your not alone in this fight!!

Steve

I am a survivor of MRSA, back in 2007 my fiancee and I came back from a cruise, we were making wedding plans, she was a nurse and when she went back to work she got a patient positive for strep infection but no one told her about it, by Wednesday she felt sick and by Friday she was very sick. I took her to the emergency room on Saturday night but they did not pick on the fact she had MRSA at first, but by Sunday she had swollen up like a balloon and her daughters had taken her back to the hospital on Sunday, by the time they found out that she had MRSA it was too late, I had proposed to her Saturday night and 36 hours later on Monday morning she was dead, but I had no Idea what she had, so in my grief I kissed her on the lips good bye.

I myself had just completed my 3 round of antibiotics for sinusitus so it slowed down the spread of the infection, but 12 weeks to the day later I came down with it not knowing what I had, it started as a big bulls-eye on the back of my left upper thigh and continue to get worse, a local doctor who was treating me said this is out of my field, go to the ER. I did and they sliced it open and squeezed a huge mound of puss out of it, gave me stronger antibiotics and sent me home not knowing what I had, and by four days later I could not keep down even water, as I threw up even the water I drank, my mother begged me to go back to the ER, so I called a church friend to drive me to the ER that Sunday night. They keep me in a separate bay in the ER all night putting bag after bag of antibiotics into me to no avail and admitted me on Monday morning, I was by then totally out of it, in and out of my right thinking and going downhill fast, I overheard the doctors discussing surgery to cut off my left leg to save my life if it was not brought under control by the next afternoon, by then I had had eight to ten bag of IV antibiotics, and they brought in a disease specialist as a consultant and she knew immediately what I had and changed my antibiotics right away and by the next afternoon I was on the mend and she filled me in on what had happened and that I had probably picked it up from my fiancee.

For the next 13 weeks I had to do daily self infusion of the same antibiotics at home to kill it all off. I am grateful that they consulted a disease specialist or I would be dead or at least minus a leg. Now any surgery I have to have I get checked for MRSA before the surgery, I dodged death once I am not interested in doing it again, that is my story, I am fortunate to be a survivor.

Becky

My son’s illness was disclosed in a high school year book at the end of the 10th grade and his athletic stats were given to others – he is now entering 12grade-we moved and I feel he has robbed him of a future of scholarships perhaps even entering a university. He had overcome blindness in the right eye and was blindsided by this illness that a school, hospital and majority of township new about and chose a new comer to publicly display by himself! I don’t know what to do to help him. I wanted to know there was risk as the coach gave him a knee pad that others used. Policies need to be intact and people informed. Instead I feel like my family was forced to stay quiet (or other things could happen). We moved but I still fear not far enough. I pray everyday that everything my son has worked for, achieved and overcome will find a way to be happy him happy.

Brian

My twin brother died on April 26, 2011 from a “mysterious” infection. The hospital could not locate the source until one week before he died and the infection had spread through his body. I believe it was from emergency surgery he had for pneumonia on Oct. 04, 2010. The story really begins on Aug. 4, 2010 when he fell from a seizure he had at the supermarket right before he was going to get on his bike to come home. He had a seizure condition for quite a few years and was prone to have seizures but that’s another story. His fall banged him up pretty good but he survived and by Dec., 2010 he was returning to the normal person he used to be before the head injury (there was no long term damage). On October 1, 2010 he had to be taken back to the hospital though because he was weak. It turned out his lungs were filling up with fluid and emergency surgery had to be performed 3 days later. After that things were ok up until about March 2011 when he became weak again. For approximately 8 weeks he was in and out of the hospital and the doctors treated him for atrial flutter (it didn’t work or only worked for a brief period). The whole time the doctors were mystified about what was wrong with him until finally one week before he died they did a probe into his heart and found some material on one of his heart valves. They said it would require long term antibiotics to get rid of the infected piece which takes approx. 6-8 weeks. By then it was too late because the infection had spread to his blood, his kidneys were failing and his heart rate was way too high. He died the following week. The cause of death listed on the Death Certificate was endocarditis and atrial fibrillation. There was no listing of the infection which was the source of the endocarditis and the a-fib. I want to do all I can to help this organization. Please contact me. Thanks.

Jan – 55 years old

I am a 55 year old female, at the time I was very healthy, until I went in for a tattoo at a new salon in town, I contacted MRSA there, as my new tattoo got red hot and swollen my arm became very sore and pus filled areas developed. As MRSA traveled through my body I became very sick almost with flu like aches and then a large red hot area came out on my right flank, long story is I had to have surgery to remove the MRSA from inside my body, the wound measured about 4 inches deep and about 4 inches wide, many long days ahead of me with dressing changes and no paycheck to help me. My life has never been the same, a few months later I developed several blood clots in my lungs, back to the hospital for me. I found out that in my state of Pennsylvania, tattoo salons do not have to be inspected by the board of health, with such and invasive procedure being done I was shocked by the news, my hair stylist has to be board certified and her salon is inspected as well, same as the nail salons here.. I have survived this ordeal and suffer everyday with panic attacks when I have chest pain for fear of more blood clots and fear of MRSA coming back. This being said please be careful of getting a tattoo and or body piercing.

Unnamed

My twin brother died on Apr.26, 2011 from a “mysterious” infection. The hospital could not locate the source until one week before he died and the infection had spread through his body. I believe it was from emergency surgery he had for pneumonia on Oct. 04, 2010. The story really begins on Aug.4, 2010 when he fell from a seizure he had at the supermarket right before he was going to get on his bike to come home. He had a seizure condition for quite a few years and was prone to seizures but that’s another story. His fall banged him up pretty good but he survived and by Dec., 2010 he was returning to the normal person he used to be before the head injury (there was no long term damage). On Oct.1 , 2010 he had to be taken back to the hospital because he was weak. It turned out his lungs were filling up with fluid and emergency surgery had to be performed 3 days later. After that things were ok up until about March, 2011 when he became weak again. For approximately 8 weeks he was in and out of the hospital and the doctors treated him for atrial flutter (it didn’t work or only worked for a brief period). The whole time the doctors were mystified about what was wrong with him until finally one week before he died they did a probe into his heart and found some material on one of his heart valves. They said it would require long term antibiotics to get rid of the infected piece which takes approx. 6-8 weeks. By then it was too late because the infection had spread to his blood, his kidneys were failing and his heart rate was way too high. He died the following week. The cause of death listed on the Death Certificate was endocarditis and atrial fibrillation. There was no listing of the infection which was the source of the endocarditis and the a-fib. I want to do all I can to help this organization.

Zachary

I am Zachary from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.. I’m fairly happy and outgoing though there is a lot of things I do that is confusing to others I love laugh and try my best to live it up along with trying to give my advice as well as possible to others .. I love too much sometimes and was really close to a girl who ended up infecting me with MRSA. I had it first on my upper thigh and figured it would just go away. And it did. Kept going on and on and I got worse 2 years down the road I have had infections on my ankle to my calf. To my thigh side and chest-on my back and shoulders.. And of late the favorite place for them to linger is on my face. I have now had over 5 outbreaks on my face. Leaving vicious scars and though I have only tried going to the doctor several times they all go away. But now my head hurts all the time. And whenever I have a scab on my infection underneath there is a hole that you can see into about the size of a pen clicker. And it closes up when it heals. My worry is – what if every MRSA infection I have now is locked on to my brain- I can’t see it but I don’t know if my headaches are from them or lack of a good diet. So I’m done causing pain to my body, please tell me of any natural remedies I can take to flush my system out. I think I can fight this I have held on this long. Please, anyone that can help please do along with asking me for any advice or if you just need a friend to talk to- Love you all. FIGHT

Jane – 24 years old

My name is Jane from South Bend, Indiana, and I am 24 years old. I was a very sick child; and at the age of 24 months I was diagnosed with having a life threatening cystic cerebellar astrocytoma on my brain stem. After extensive brain surgery, a shunt placement surgery,and learning how to walk again, I was safe. Or so it seemed. Requiring constant check ups my family was forced to drive the three hours to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis several times a year. On one such visit at the age of seven I was sick with the flu. Running a fever of 107, I was unable to walk and needed the use a wheelchair. Having never used a wheelchair before I accidentally came into contact with the wheels several times; and after the office reflex tests I rubbed my eyes. The next morning I awoke unable to open my eyes. They had swelled significantly and sealed shut. I was hospitalized locally for a week and it was found that I had Periorbital cellulitis, caused by Staphylococcus. After long treatments of intravenous antibiotics I seemed to be all better. Around the time that I hit puberty I noticed one day what I thought to be acne on my face. I washed my face, used astringents, and special spot treatment. Nothing worked, and in fact, seemed to make it worse. It became extremely painful and over the course of a weekend it had spread across my face and chest. My family doctor finally took a culture and it came back as staphylococcus aureus, but I knew it was MRSA. The infection disappeared but then began gracing my face periodically. Going through middle and high school are hard enough, but doing it with an infection that covers your face and chest with crusty, yellow, scabs, and dissolves your skin… It was difficult, but I rarely let it effect my social life, and that was mostly based on personal shame. But I never allowed it to alter my relationships, and I was very careful never to give it to my boyfriends. Two months ago, at the age of 24, I marched into my Dr.’s office during an outbreak. Enough was enough and I have become weary of being a carrier. Having it for so long, one might think I was not longer bothered by my outbreaks. And while they are a part of my life now, I still cry and feel like a freak. My joints ache and I feel weak and lethargic all the time. I can feel the toll on my body more and more every day as I get older. I told my doctor that I would no longer host this virus and wanted a way to eradicate it. The use of nasal Mupirocin and oral Keflex three times a day for a month did nothing to kill the colonization in my sinuses and my newest culture came back positive for MRSA, I am engaged, and praying they can find a cure. If not tomorrow, then before I get married and start a family.

Teresa

It has been over 2 yrs since I had MRSA boils under my armpit. I was lethargic, had shortness of breath, heart palpatations, dizzy, unbearable leg aches, and a boil or 2 every month. After taking antibiotics the boils would come back. I put myself on a mostly alkaline diet, ate 16-20 fresh chopped garlic cloves every day (aggressive bagels and cream cheese helped to eat) I drank colloidal silver, drank turmeric in tomato juice. Used chelated maganese and magnesium, used ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder) ate lemon for alkaline value. I put 100% tea tree oil up my nose several times a day as well as directly on my boils. I bleached my bathroom after every use and did not wipe, let it soak… I initially used Hibiclens to kill all bacteria, then after a week or so used plain active yogurt as a after bath lotion….everywhere, covered my body. There were other things but these were the biggies. Clean obsessively with bleach colorfast or not. Throw away all hygiene products. Take a week or 2 off work and clean your home, your insides and your outside body. Rest when your body says rest, go to bed early. Within 1 week I was feeling better. Within 2 weeks, I felt brand new. I took lots of probiotics, yogurt and kraut. I did a 3 month detox/colon cleanse…after my home program, that I ordered online. I am MRSA free….really…no strange diet, no weird products. Normal life. MRSA is everywhere….I could get it again. But I know it will be a new infection if it happens. But I know how to kill it….I never want to go through it again, but I don’t have the hopelessness like I did. Please research these things and do something! Save you…save your friends and family and everyone you come into contact with. Please try, get out of the circle of antibiotics, MRSA, more antibiotics, more MRSA….you won’t be afraid to touch people and get them sick….You can beat it, maybe different MRSA different products, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor or scientist. But I killed my MRSA. Please look for a way to kill your MRSA. I pray for all of us.

Susan

My ex husband and i share a child together. He is a wonderful father, and I never once considered the possibility of having to raise our daughter without him in the picture.

He is a very strong healthy man, 39 at the time of the MRSA septicemia event. He lifted weights a lot and had injured a shoulder years back, and had problems off and on with inflammation there. He has a background of working in surgery and as a hospital nurse; both are places he may have been exposed to MRSA strains.
He developed increased pain in a shoulder area over a few weeks. He didn’t think much of it, as he struggled with inflammation there, and had for years. Then one Friday at work, he began feeling sluggish, exhausted, poor appetite, increasing pain in the old shoulder site, and didn’t really know WHAT was wrong. He finished working that day, went home, and wound up in the emergency room. The pain was becoming intolerable in the shoulder area, and extreme weakness and fatigue. He was also having nausea, the pain was so severe. The hospital drew lab, checked vitals at that time, but essentially just treated him for pain and sent him home, told him to go “sleep off” the pain medicine… well, if he had, he would be dead today. His mother talked him into going to HER house for observation. She said, she didn’t like that they had NO idea why he was so sick, or why his pain was so severe in the first place. Well, with each passing hour, he became more and more weak, and sick. He began having a lot of loose stool and nausea and vomiting. His mother tried to get him into her car to return him to the ER but he already had become too weak to ambulate. She called an ambulance and they rushed him to the hospital. He was in a coma before he ever made it there. The next several weeks were touch and go, the ICU doctors basically told family to share their goodbyes, as they did not expect him to survive. He was so unstable, on a ventilator, IV drips to keep his blood pressure high enough to keep him from dying. They ended up using an experimental drug, for septic shock, that was risky they said, but they felt they had nothing to lose. Prayers and the drug must have worked, he turned around and eventually has nearly made a full recovery. He did have to go back, weeks later, and have some BONE removed in that shoulder area, the site where he kept telling healthcare staff, was giving him so much pain. Turns out, the MRSA was in the shoulder BONE. It couldn’t be healed by medications, IV or otherwise, and a portion of bone eventually was just removed. To look at him today, you’d never know he was once so close to death, from MRSA. He says he still doesn’t feel he’s as strong as he once was. And he says he has some problems from time to time with focus, and memory, that he doesn’t think he had before. But overall, we are so very thankful that he lived, and most importantly, i hope that hospital emergency rooms, and doctor offices everywhere, will learn to recognize the early signs and symptoms of septicemia. Early treatment can be the difference between life and death. And we’re talking hours, and minutes here… because with septicemia, it occurs so rapidly, one only has a small window of time to recognize what one is dealing with.

Derwyn

I am a MRSA survivor from East Greenville, PA. I have been looking for an organization that raises awareness for this deadly disease. I spent about 35 days in the hospital along with 7 surgeries and left me with a scar that starts at my ankles and goes almost up to my knee. It all started in school one day, in which I felt like my leg was broken, but I hadn’t done anything that day that would have injured me. I skipped football and had no idea what to tell me coach what was wrong with me! I went home and spiked a fever of 104 and was rushed to Grandview Hospital and was placed in a small room and was truly neglected. IT WAS AWFUL. From there I was diagnosed with a broken leg, but I still insisted on the fact that I hadn’t done anything to my leg. They said it was a “hair line fracture” so they casted my leg up. Day after day my leg hurt and hurt and hurt so I told my mom we have to go to the hospital because something isn’t right. They said that adjusting to a new cast is a difficult thing to do but I knew something was wrong. The thing was my leg had continued to swell up against the cast and became unbearable. They ended up cutting off my cast and could not figure out what was wrong with me. I took test after test and finally one day the doctors took my parents outside of the room to explain the fact that I had MRSA and my parents walked into my room in tears. I was immediately rushed in for surgery. I also had pneumonia that could have killed me along with MRSA that was traveling up my leg and would have killed me within 24 hours if the doctors hadn’t discovered my illness. From there on it is quite a blur for I was hooked up to every IV possible. Oh yeah they placed me in a coma to place an IV straight into my heart. Back to the surgery it is my understanding that they had to drill a hole into my ankle bone to rid the MRSA. I don’t exactly know the process and would rather not know. I must have taken every drug prescription possible because I can’t remember much detail! What I do know, 7 surgeries really took a toll on me and I am SOOOO grateful to be alive. Check out my facebook page to see my scar it is pretty graphic. I contacted this website because I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives and hope to put an end to this deadly disease. I am looking to start a MRSA Awareness Day in Pennsylvania and raise money for this program! I thank those doctors for saving my life and God for his grace. I hope to make a difference, please send me any information that I could start a fundraiser in my school or community. THANK YOU.

Carolyn

Hi I am 33 yrs old. I have two young children ages 3 and 4, Isaiah and Madissen. I have been sick since the age of 17. I had so many tests for all the wrong reasons from being cut open 3 times to being put on drugs by psychologists. They actually tried to tell me it was in my head. It started with stomach pain and uterus pain to always feeling exhausted and in chronic pain. Dr’s have been rude and some ok. My mental state was actually declining so I struggled with depression from chronic pain and no answers. We’ll after my daughter was born she too was ill. I also had a cyst on my breast. Also one on my face which I thought was due to hormonal changes. They kept telling me Maddie was ok. II breastfed my baby and kept telling the father something was wrong. Her breathing seemed short with ongoing fever. The father left me and I met Isaiah’s dad. We’ll, he was born and the father wasn’t in his life. So all alone I battled being sick and with two sick children. Isaiah had the same thing ongoing, stomach pain gastric reflux and rashes but also chronic ear and eye sinus pain with no luck from antibiotics. So now I’m telling them I know there something wrong. Same replies- nothing is wrong. I ended up having an emergency colonoscopy and the Dr. had no answers for why my intestines presented a sore. He said he was not going to listen to my story about a bad bacteria. I thought it could be real. I saw white discharge with blood and when it came it was a horrific pain. Still no answers. My sick kids and I are on welfare- not really great. I lost most of my friends. I lost my teenage years now in my 30′s and still suffering. Last summer a big cyst appears. So it finally really shows its face. I see Dr’s again. At this point I’m sick of doctor’s but again they tell my I’m not contagious, it’s just a cyst. We’ll my new boyfriend caught it and they told him the same thing. We’ll they were so huge and painful. After it came back 3 times they test it and it comes back MRSA. My daughter get’s a cyst on her head but no one at the CHEO children’s hospital of Eastern Ontario will take a swab. I wrote letters, I begged, they told me my kids were not as sick as the kids in there are. They finally gave the test. They swabbed both kids noses telling me they don’t think it’s that. The test came back negative. I decided to go somewhere where they test the wound and voila MRSA positive. My poor child has been suffering. Ongoing rashes in vagina they say it doesn’t cause that. Lies lies lies. They tell me it’s not MRSA in my body. I saw the discharge that came out my rectum (sorry) I know the pain it causes and my left hip and my back hurt so bad also every month or so it travels through me into different areas in my body like uterus and my colon. Someone has to listen because I feel like my son and I are going to end up with sepsis, we are going to die. He stopped breathing at night when his infection is at its worst. Stomach pain is rough too. He presses up against a table to push his poo out. He shakes and his fever’s get really bad. They won’t decolonize us -why? I need some help people, before I lose my children or they lose me or both. I’m on welfare, I can’t afford even all the gauze and the diet to build immunity. Maybe my case is different maybe it mutated from being inside me for 17 yrs. Why won’t they treat and listen to us. Maddie underwent surgery last week for a giant cyst near her bum hole. It’s so painful to watch a little girl in pain. I wish I could take it away. I told them once it’s gone it will come back somewhere else they told me no. They gave me no antibiotics. Truthfully I’ve read so much now and I lived with this long enough now that I could be useful to them in recognizing the patterns and how it affects your body as a whole and not just on the skin as they say. I even thought about suicide so they can autopsy my body to save my children. I can’t leave them. I am a survivor and I will survive for my kids but I need help. I will not stop this fight, I will not back down. Don’t let those Dr’s bully you like they are doing to me. Stand your ground and don’t back down. Thank you for listening, there is so much more I have to share. Let’s win this battle. I cry everyday for everyone who suffers in this world. I pray for everyone who suffers any kind of illness. It hurts to live with pain, it hurts the heart and soul but it made me strong and aware of humanity and the pain other’s feel.

Jenna-26 years old

Today is day 31 and I still have MRSA. I am in a long distance relationship, six hours from my home (Northern Wisconsin), I ended up in an Illinois hospital for 9 days.. I then became an outpatient with a picc line in my arm for further care. I have MRSA on my head/face. One morning I felt as though someone had punched me in the eye. All day i had this feeling. I started to notice my eye becoming swollen. I did go to an ER they told me I had a food allergy (I have none that I am aware of). The next morning I had awoken to a 3/4 shut left eye very swollen and a lump on my forehead. You could see fluid all over as well. I later went back to the ER where I was then transferred and admitted to a new hospital. The first week in the hospital (my first ever hospital stay) was the worst week of my life. I did not know pain existed on levels such as this. I now have a total of five Drs. I felt as though I was on an episode of House- people scrambled to find what was wrong with me. One Dr. decided to go ahead with surgery and remove the lump on my head, only I came out of surgery with a drain in my head to flush the fluid out. Something I hope to never experience ever again. After a few days of the drain in it was taken out. Over a week after my stay I was finally told I have MRSA. I never even heard of it. I was then kept in isolation for several days and released with a picc line as an outpatient. My Dr. told me I’m young and healthy. We don’t know how I got MRSA. Unfortunately I have this living in fear feeling now. It’s not gone yet, but I’m hoping it is. I don’t ever want to experience this nightmare again. Knowing other people have it is sad to me, but I know I’m not alone.

Alysa

Two years ago I was preparing for my wedding.  I had gone to a routine dermatological appointment in which I had a significant amount of open skin.  A few days had past and I developed extremely painful “sores” on my lower abdomen.  I thought it was just ingrown hair or something.  I was feeling ill and getting smaller sores all over my body.  The more concentrated they got the more scared I had become.  I went into urgent care where I was harassed and told that I had to have gone to a hotel hot tub, and had folliculitis.  I was given  a prescription and as I was getting my prescription, my pharmacist said something that made me rethink what the first doctor had told me.  I called my to-be mother in law who had previously been a nurse to discuss the diagnosis and my fears.  After her talking about my symptoms in a much more serious diagnosis, things the doctor had overlooked and or ignored. I called another office to get a second opinion.  As the nurse practitioner reviewed all the info and seen the spots on my body she explained what MRSA was and that she was testing me for it.

A couple days later she called me with the bad news and had me come in to see the doctor.  He didn’t hesitate and got me on the table and after a seriously painful and scary list of events, lanced 3 spots.  He then had me get a blood test and told me if that came back positive I needed to IMMEDIATELY come back to the hospital or a hospital (as I was supposed to have gone to my best friend’s wedding shower) to be put on IV treatment.  It was thankfully not in my blood but I was told to frequently check my temperature and if I ever got a fever to go in and get checked out.  It went away for a month until I got a cut on my hand.  I had another abscess under my arm, and after going to the doctor while it was small, hel told me I was overreacting and to go home.  A week later it was the size of a baseball and he lanced it and proved himself wrong.  He then told me I had to live with this the rest of my life.   Overreacting huh? I have my life ahead of me and I am working at making the best of it, but not a day goes by I don’t have to deal with it one way or another.  It’s always on my mind, and as a now single person, how do I explain this to a potential mate? If I get the opportunity to have children I put them at risk not to mention if I would have to have a c- section? Every day things like being with friends, using the same toilets, shaving, working… it’s not easy especially when you have to LIVE WITH IT. – I have a lot more to say and want to be proactive in preventing this for our future.

Jan – 55 years old

I am a 55 year old female, at the time I was very healthy, untill I went in for a tattoo at a new salon in town, I contacted MRSA there, as my new tattoo got red hot and swollen my arm became very sore and pus filled areas developed. As MRSA traveled through my body I became very sick almost with  flu like aches and then a large red hot area came out on my right flank, long story is I had to have surgery to remove the MRSA from inside my body, the wound measured about 4 inches deep and about 4 inches wide, many long days ahead of me with dressing changes and no paycheck to help me..My life has never been the same, a few months later I developed several blood clots in my lungs, back to the hospital for me..I found out that in my state of pennsylvania, tattoo salons do not have to be inspected by the board of health, with such and invasive procedure being done i was shocked by the news, my hair stylist has to be board certified and her salon is inspected as well, same as the nail salons here.. I have survived this ordeal and suffer everyday with panic attacks when I have chest pain for fear of more blood clots and fear of MRSA coming back. This being said please be careful of getting a tattoo and or body piercing

Frank

In September of last year I was diagnosed with MRSA it was really bad. I had it in my lungs, then it spread rapidly it went from my lungs to my blood to my heart to my organs. I died and came back and I was in a drug induced coma for 6 weeks. i was then released from the hospital in November, with what we thought as a clean bill of health, but it was not true. Three months after I was released I was back in the hospital. I now have MRSA in my hip and pelvis bones and am being treated for it as we speak. I just wanted to thank you guys for everything you do on this website it is really helpful … I wrote my story to share with people. I want to share this traumatic story with people.

Caleb 7 – Texas

calebMy son Caleb is 7 and we began dealing with MRSA two years ago. He probably acquired it while in the hospital due to an illness. Caleb has several health conditions but severe eczema utlimately left him vulnerable to MRSA. He has had numerous hospitalizations because of it and now we are running out of answers and options. His immune system is attacking him on top of it. That leads to breakage in his skin and more MRSA infections. Now he is having to take a drug to supress his immune system in a last ditch effort to stop his immune system from attacking him. He is homebound and has to stay away from any unnessasary contact with other people. Which means no school, friends, even a trip to Wal-mart. As a mom I am heartbroken. The first time I held him I, like most moms made him a vow to protect him. I imagined the future and all he could be. What I did not imagine was a doctor telling me he could die. No mother should have to hear that. Hearing a doctor tell you MRSA can and will kill your child because they can’t fight it much longer is something no one should experience. Hearing them tell you they don’t know what to do anymore. Listening to your child cry because he has no quality of life anymore. These are all things that could be prevented! This has gotten way out of hand. How many people have to suffer before it is realized how big of a problem this is? I wish this on no one but until our healthcare system changes the likelihood is that more families will suffer. We need answers. They come in the way of government funding so we can find a solution, cure, something. Sadly we are running out of time.

Andrea, 23

I am 23 years old and in late October of last year (2010) I was told I had an infection called M.R.S.A. which led me to be in isolation for seven days and six nights. This put a toll on my relationship as well as me losing about one and a half paychecks.

It started in early October when I noticed a abscess just below my belly button which at a local hospital they lanced and drained there again causing me to be out of work and I lost another paycheck. Then in the midst of all the stress and the healing process began. With a quick check I found another abscess this time located on my groin area as I went to the same local hospital they insisted it was nothing without even really checking it out they gave me some IV medication and a prescription for some pills which my boyfriend and could not afford to pay for. So his mother had to by the medication for me and also paid for the walk-in clinic that I went to just a few days after the hospital visit. As soon as I went in the doctor took one look at my groin and said “honey I’m sorry but I think you have M.R.S.A. and I’m sending you to the hospital that I work at”. He then proceeded to give me a hug and again my boyfriend’s mother had to take me to the hospital. As I arrived I was alone with no one but nurses and doctors looking and putting needles into my body. Once they were done with the lancing on the second abscess along with a culture of my nose and wound, I was put into a room. I was alone and scared and unaware of what was really going on. My veins are extremely hard to find and once found they are even harder to use for medication and blood cultures and in this I received my very first picc line. The doctors and nurses were there by my side and all so my boyfriend. Around 2am the next day they woke me from my sleep and transported me to an isolation room and that is where I had stayed for seven days and six nights with heavy medication that gave horrible nausea.

But just recently I had another outbreak of M.R.S.A. on my inner thigh along with Urinary Tract Infection. Once again I rushed myself over to the walk-in clinic where the same doctors helped me last time where there (all the doctors who work at this clinic work at the hospital that I went to and received amazing care). They prescribed antibiotics, cream and wash where the M.R.S.A. has gone for now.

Thank you for bringing awareness to this.

Regetta

first contracted a MRSA infection in January of last year. I have fibromyalgia which weakened my immune system. I went to a emergency care center for a cut on my finger. A few days later I had a small MRSA on the finger next to it. When that healed I got a large boil on my rear end. The doctor prescribed bactrim. 3 days later the boil was bigger and more painful than ever. I went to the E.R. The emergency room doctor told me I had impressed him which wasn’t good. My large boil now had a circle of smaller boils around it, and that’s when my journey on the MRSA roller coaster started. I am resistant to bactrim, clydamicine, doxydocyline, and one other antibiotic they wanted to try. The nightmare of boils healing and new ones appearing one after another went on for months. When the doctors wanted to give me vancomycin, I drew the line. It did not make any sense to put my body through this when it only continued to get worse. I looked to alternative treatments and completely stopped listening to my doctors. I had done what they told me for ten months, and was only getting worse. I started eating raw honey and garlic because they have natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. I took several other vitamins c, e, fish oil, grapeseed extract, green tea extract, and tried to reduce stress. I also stopped using the anti-bacterial soaps and taking the antibiotics. I haven’t had a MRSA since November. I did still wash my sheets daily, and use anti-bacterial cleansers in my household. I was very frustrated that the doctors never suggested anything other than more antibiotics. If nothing has worked for you, and you need something different, I hope my story helps.

Christina

On the morning of October 28th, 2010 I noticed a small lump in my left axillary. I chalked it up to perhaps an ingrown hair or infected follicle and went on about my day. Mid-day I noticed my arm beginning to swell and turm bright red nearly down to my elbow. I went to the local “urgent care” and was told it was an abcess hair follicle, the stuck a syringe into the nodule and with no drainage they sent me home. By night fall i was so deathly sick, arm swollen 4 times its normal size an a fever of 106.7 i went to the E.R. My body had begun to turn septic and shut down. For the next three days I recieved IV antibiotics until my arm finally exploded like a gunshot wound. The next month I spent going to the wound clinic, having 21.5 ft. of gauze packed into my arm and left breast. Although that wound has begun to heal, i have had 4 other areas break out in the same region. Every time I finish taking my antibiotics within three days I begin to turn septic with severe cellulitis in my left arm. My body is so tired, I await the day this ends!

Freda

I am a nurse and contracted MRSA from another hospital after an abdominal hysterectomy. I was on all the big antibiotics to cure it but it was to little to late and now it is colonized in my blood and I can no longer be a nurse after 25 years. I almost died numerous times from the infection and it has ruined my life. I am unable to find an lawyer to help me as the burden of proof is on me, even though I know when and where I got it. I have had over 25 surgeries to try and get it out of my system but it is killing me a little at a time. I will fight until I can’t anymore. If my dying from this and getting someone to take notice then I will have done what I should do. My prayers go out to everyone that must battle this.

Christina

On the morning of October 28th, 2010 I noticed a small lump in my left axillary. I chalked it up to perhaps an ingrown hair or infected follicle and went on about my day. Mid-day I noticed  my arm beginning to swell and turn bright red nearly down to my elbow. I went to the local “urgent care” and was told it was an abcess hair follicle, the stuck a syringe into the nodule and with no drainage they sent me home. By night fall i was so deathly sick, arm swollen 4 times its normal size an a fever of 106.7 i went to the E.R. My body had begun to turn septic and shut down. For the next three days I received IV antibiotics until my arm finally exploded like a gunshot wound. The next month I spent going to the wound clinic, having 21.5 ft. of gauze packed into my arm and left breast. Although that wound has begun to heal, i have had 4 other areas break out in the same region. Every time I finish taking my antibiotics within three days I begin to turn septic with severe cellulitis in my left arm. My body is so tired,I await the day this ends!

Kathy

My husband died on April 27,2010 after a three year battle with mrsa septicemia. He also had it in his lungs and urine, I was his caretaker. I have not felt good since July of 2009, I have lost 25% of my lung capacity and functional capacity. My heart rate is 210 at rest and I am unable to work or push exercise due to shortness of breath. My doctors are saying I am deconditioned. Is it possible that I have picked up mrsa and they are brushing it off. I was sick all of last winter with sinus infections and ear infection. I found with my husband that no one would talk about the mrsa, it was a big secret, more than aids ever was. Thanks, Kathy

Allyson

I can hardly believe I found your website…today. A week ago I spent 5 days in the hospital with a quick spreading mrsa infection. I never saw my life pass by me so fast! I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to my three little boys who I sent off to school that morning. My new ENT physician told me it was imperative that I get myself to the ER and not wait another moment longer.

I was terrified and overwhelmed with the news. How could my simple head cold that lasted the previous 5 days turn into mrsa? Are you kidding me? I wasn’t isolated right away, which is unbelievable. My meds. turned one late Friday evening into multiple nightmares while sleeping, sudden awakening alone in my room, very high blood pressure and a panic attack.

I am home, recovering, one day at a time. My career as a school teacher is on hold. I am desperate to snuggle my children after an abrupt separation, but my better sense tells me to wait until they are tested and I have completely healed. For now, they seem to understand.

I am terribly fearful of getting another outbreak, or worse, that someone close to me could suffer one. There are no guarantees. I will spend October 1st, 2010 celebrating my life and all that I bring to my family and friendships around me. A worldwide recognition day couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you for all your efforts, research, care and continued support.

Jodie

What a wonderful site! I’m hoping you can help me with some information. I acquired CA-MRSA February 1st 2010 after a brazilian bikini wax. The technician “double dipped”, by that I mean she used one wax stick and went from the wax pot to my skin and back to the wax pot again and again. I understand that that move is a huge no-no and cosmetology 101. My problem is the insurance company. The adjuster says she has a hard time with “my story” because I am the only client who complained of acquiring MRSA. My reply was well, maybe I’m the only one who’s skin was ripped during the procedure. I have suffered 6 boils in the bikini area and nose, with the last one the size of a tennis ball and several trips to the hospital. My goal is not to be litigious, but to be reimbursed for my out of pocket costs, missed work and perhaps most importantly, to insure that the esthetician change her lazy ways that could have (and still may) cost my life! God Bless You for your efforts to help us all!

Nava

On March 2009, I felt ill due to an unknown condition, and I had a huge bump on my inner right thigh. I went to my family doctor, and he indicated I had an abscess. He referred me to a surgeon, and he numbs my inner right thigh and drains the abscess. My thigh still would not go down, and I was hospitalized two more times with deep wounds. I maxed out all my home care visits, and I had to care for my wound myself. My thigh was better and I was released to go back to work in May 2009. I felt as though the surgeon was playing with my leg to make extra money. I contacted my insurance carrier to request a second opinion because I did not know the facts about MRSA.  Today, I am grateful that God and the surgeon healed me from MRSA. I wish I knew about MRSA, and this website when I was going through my sickness.

Dayle – 58 yr old woman from Illinois

I fell and broke my leg and knee cap, with no skin broken and had surgery to put hardware in on Feb., 2005. After surgery I went to a rehab facility, and was told I had to stay for 4-6 months as the breaks were extensive. When I finally looked at my leg, there were large blisters which were oozing pus, blood and my leg was very red. I was told that this was normal by my doctor and I was in terrible pain. I was given an anti-depressant because I was so upset. I was sent home with painkillers and a visitng nurse said it looked really terrible. I went to the doctor, he took a culture and then said I had an infection and was admitted to the hopsital and had surgery that day, extensive debridements. I had three more surgeries and was assigned an ID doctor and he told me I had MRSA. I was put on vancomycin for 8 weeks with a picc line and had some of the hardware removed. All of this set me back and I lost my job. My disability ran out and my unemplyment insurance. Also my health insurance for physical therapy. I am trying to make payments for my therapy to continue. I feel depressed and angry.

Krystin – 7 yrs old

Krystin had mouth surgery in May, 2005 and 4 weeks later developed an infection, which spread to her hip, muscles and bloodstream. Krystin’s mother worked as a nurses aide in an ER and knew something was not right with her daughter and she kept complaining she was tired and hurt. She was admitted to two different hopsitals, but was not diagnosed with MRSA until she went to the third hospital. She spent 13 days in the hospital, 10 weeks on oral antibiotics and 5 weeks of physical therapy with many doctor visits. her whole summer was lost to her and her parents were left with $68,000 in medical bills and they had insurance. Her mother had to quit her job because she had to stay home and take care of her daughter. She says that she will survive this but worries about her daughter’s health and the future.

Gina

I had several surgeries on my knees and a few days later I had horrible pressure and pain. I pulled off one of the suture scabs and it srained. I went to see my ortho docotr and they prescribed antibiotics. The wound opened and drained again. I had my husband take me to the ER ans they admitted me and stayed a week and they told me I had MRSA. I cried and got really depressed. I have had to have more surgeries and hope I will heal.

Jon – 37 yrs old

I knew nothing about CA-MRSA before it introduced me to itself, now I know about it as much as I possibly care to. I had spent 8 days in the hospital and had 3 surgeries in that time. The physical and emotional toll it took me and my family was incredible.

Madeline – 7 weeks old

I lost my baby daughter, Maddy in July, 2005. I gave birth to twins and they were premature, but healthy. Maddy was the strongest of the two, but remained in the NICU for 3 weeks due to apnea. She came home and I had limited visitors. After 13 days home, she developed a cold with a runny nose and a cough. We took her to the doctor and he said it was just a cold and 27 hrs later she was barely breathing and we called 911. I performed CPR on her and when the ambulance came she was breathing on her own. At the hospital she quickly deteriorated and she was airlifted to another hospital. They thought she had pneumonia, then a cold and the results came back that she had MRSA. We had never heard of MRSA. We watched over her for 11 days and she was on a ventilator and was fighting hard to live. Each morning she had an x-ray taken of her lungs and MRSA was literally eating her lungs. We felt hopeless and watched our daughter struggle and slowly die each day. On July 22, the doctors said she only had a few hours before her entire system would shut down. We gathered around Maddy and held her as she took her final breath. This is the single most painful tragedy for the family, losing our daughter. Our son, Luke, the other twin was tested for MRSA and was positive, but he was decolonized and remains infection free.

Vince – 58 yrs old

I am a diabetic and had bi-pass surgery, came home and had pain and went to the ER and they found out that I had MRSA in my chest wound. Then the top of my left foot was black and they amputated it up to the mid-calf. It healed even thought I had a MRSA infection. A wound vac was used and then the ID doctor told me to get my affairs in order as they did not think I would make it. I spent 5.5 months in the hospital and finally came gome and ws on vanco. I recovered slowly. I got an ingown toenail and it came back positive for MRSA and it would not heal. The had to amputate 2 of my toes and then decided later to remoce half of my foot. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks this time. I am infection free now, but my life has changed dramatically.

Michael

I caught MRSA last year after a motorcycle accident when I hit a deer and had to have surgery on my head. I was told before the operation that I would have antibiotics. The next day I ws released with 5 brken ribs, a broken shoulder. A few week after the operation I developes sand dollar-size sores. Went to another hospital and told I had MRSA and ws on IV antibiotics for a week. Thank you for letting me share my story.

Sandi

I got MRSA in 2004 after hip surgery, was in the hospital for 3 days and 5 days later I was rushed back with sepsis. It has been a constant battle since: emotionally, physically, spirtually and financially. As a nurse, I feel betrayed by my own profession. I still cry every time I talk about it or have to face the fact that it will never go away. I am angry, as I’m sure everyone else is. I write a least a letter a week to SOMEONE – ANYONE who I think might listen. Anyway, I’m glad this site is established.

Larry

I contracted MRSA in a local hospital in 2005 and I was given a chance to live thru the night. I had a bleed out in a colon cancer operation. I got a transfusion and all of my vitals improved. I was in and out of a coma for 3 months. All of my organs were shutting down and dialysis was done. The MRSA infection was so bad they just washed me out and sewed me up. Apparently, there was over 500 MRSA cases at this Tucson hospital in Jan.2005.

Anthony

I have been HIV positive for 15 yrs, very healthy and never sick, but this changed in 2005. I came from the gym nd I notice a tiny red area on my leg the size of a neddle head. I woke up the next day and my leg was 10 times bigger, red, swollen and I had a buring fever. I went to the ER and spent 2 weeks there. Nothin they gave me worked and my leg was getting worse and they told me I had MRSA. I got om the right antibiotics and in a few days I was feeling better. I just wanted to write to tell you what a wonderful job you are doing in passing information for other people who do not know about this deadly infection. I was lucky, but I know others were not.

Delaina

My husband and I have been living with various levels of MRSA since 2002. The biggest obstacles have been doctors themselves. We know when we have a staph infection and doctors insist on giving us penicillin. They decline to give us the medications we know we need and most often do not culture the infection. each time it is a struggle to get the proper treatment. The doctors hate to be told what to do and we end up suffering.

Henry

I am a recent MRSA survivor. I contracted MRSA in the hospital when I had to have a kidney stone blasted. The procedure was a success but 3 days later I ran a temp and I was admitted and after many tests and 3 different antibiotics I was put on vanco. I contiune with it for 2 weeks at home. My wife is a RN and she asked the doctor if I had MRSA and he said yes. I am recovering slowly and I’m in pain.

Leanne

My daughter was born in 2005 by c-section. A week later I noticed a huge white pimple on her neck. We started to see redness and pimples on other parts of her body and she did not have a temp. She went for her 2 week check-up and she was admitted to the hospital right away and put into the neo-matal intensive care unit. She was hooked up to IV antibiotics and diagnosed with MRSA and in the hospital for 9 days. A few days later I was admitted to the hosptials with a golf-sized abscess in my right breast and they beleive I got MRSA from breast feeding. I had IV antibiotics. I release after 9 days and continued to take oral antibiotics. I worry every time my daughter scrapes her knee or gets a bug bite that she might get another MRSA infection – I don’t think that the feeling will ever go away.

Eileen – RN

I just read about your efforts to have hospitals test for MRSA and I believe that you are fighting for something that should have been instituted long ago. My daughter was 28 when she contracted MRSA and was misdiagnosed several times before she received the correct treatment. She is lucky to have survived after 3 different hospitals and 4 operations. She has permanent damage to her foot and ankle. They were going to amputate her foot, but we were able to find the right doctor who treated her effectively. I am a registered nurse and work in a hospital, where we are constantly being exposed to MRSA, VRE, C-diff, etc. I’m sure, new strains of bugs will continue to come. You are right – hand washing alone won’t stop the spread of this infection.

Sky

I think it’s wonderful that you are bringing this awful “superbug”to nat’l attention and I applaud you for your efforts. I am a veteran LPN of 25 yrs and I can tell you. I have watched this becoming increasingly worse. I have seen horrors in the realm of sanitary conditions! It has gotten so bad that I have elected to forego my career in order to stay healthy. I have chidren at home and must put their safety first.. It seems that nearly every patient that I have taken care of has MRSA. Please continue your crusade and make the public aware of this terrible problem. I thoroughly support you.

Linda – RN, BSN, CCRN, MSN

I am an ICU nurse and I wanted to comment on what a wonder thing it is to have a support grp for those with MRSA. The public needs to be aware of this “epidemic”. Getting the word out to consumers is a powerful thing, just as supporting those who have gone thru having a life threatening infection or worse, losing a loved one from a hospital-acquired infection. Thank you for caring for others who have been afflicted.

Ron

My son got MRSA 2 yrs ago when he went in for back surgery. We spent Christmas in the ER with him and he had to undergo 3 operations. He went back to the doctor who did the original surgery 2 months later as he noticed a bump and felt sick. The doctor looked at it and told him to come back in a month. If he was dying, we were to take him to the ER. We saw another doctor 2 days later ans he scheduled emergency surfery as he felt my son’s condition was critical. The problem is not only with hospitals, but with doctors and their attitudes.

Richard

I felt sick and my temp went to 104 degrees and I thought I had the flu. My scrotum was enlarged and I had a rash. I went to the ER and then was transferred to the ICU, my kidneys were failing and I had emergency surgery to releave the pressure and went into a coma. I had many debridements and was released to a nursing home and then my temp went up again and I was back in the hospital. More surgery and they had to remove the top third of my penis and then had to remove more. The doctors were able to rebuild my penis and I am infection free.

Janet – 35 yrs old

I have MRSA and have been suffering since 2000. I get 3 – 4 boils a year in size from a golf ball to a grapefruit. I am also diabetic and the doctors claim that is why I have boils. My doctor oftern chooses not to see me and calls in the script. The only reason I have pain medication is because I have a degenerative disk disease. I am unable to work and many of my relationships are strained due to being contagious. I live in fear my mother or son will get an infection. It is very depressing and often a sense of no hope. I thank you for having a place to share my story. God bless to all the survivors and their families.

Meritt – 60 yrs old

My father Meritt died of sepsis in 9/27/07. He was the greatest father anyone could ever have. He had surgery to drain fluid from his lungs and he was in the ICU and a day later he seems to be doing well, sitting up and eating. The next day he talks to us and we go back in the evening and he is in a coma and never wakes up again to talk to us. Three days later he is going to have surgery again and his gall bladder is removed and they do not find anything else. We do not leave the waiting room and he passes quickly. We receive the death certificate, which states cause of death – sepsis a term we never heard from anyone. This is so sad and it happens daily and alot of people have not heard of it. I hope my story helps someone down the road.

Roni – 53 years old

I want to thank you for everything you are doing to let America know about this deadly disease. I was diagnosed with MRSA in 2005. I had a bad case of pneumonia that ended up leaving me a paraplegic. Since then I have been on IV vancomycin at home twice and in the hospital once and had pneumonia again in March of 2008. I had surgery Aug.22 for a pressure sore on my back side and am on IV vanco. It is very scary as you never know when it will hit you again or if my family is going to get it. I’ve learned more about MRSA because of you then from my doctors and hospital. I have develped also another condition that I will have for the rest of my life, it is called bullous pemphigold. I develop blisters all over my body and they are very painful. It is a very rare disease and I am on prednisone which prevents the healing of wounds and can limit my ability to fight off infections. I feel that no matter which way I turn, I am damned for the rest of my life.

Cheryl

I got MRSA after a torn rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder. Doctors ignored all my symptoms and I finally went to the hospital and was admitted and nearly died. I was 11 days in the hospital. Came home for 3 days then back in for 8 more days. Went home and two months later huge bumps appeared on my left shoulder and had 5 more surgeries and a 2 week stay in the hospital, 2 picc lines and very expensive antibiotics for 8 months. The past 7 months I have been infection free. I sleep more now than I ever have.

Anonymous

I had suffered TEN ( toxic epidermal necrolysis) and was in an induced coma for 3 months at Harborview Hospital in Seattle. They told me I had pneumonia 3 times but never mentioned MRSA to me or my family. I went to a naturopath who read my chart and informed me I had MRSA twice, one while in the burn unit, and once in rehab, where I had a non-infected roommate because of my picc line. The hospital apologized for not telling me about the MRSA, but says it is no big deal.

Anonymous

In October, 2001 I went to the Mayo Clinic (St. Luke’s Hospital) in Jacksonville, FL for open-heart surgery. I was told that I would be there 6 days. The surgeon punctured my stomach in two places and my stay became 5 weeks as my lungs collapsed, contracted MRSA, peritonitis, pneumonia and my gall bladder stopped working. I went home as a decrepit invalid with drainage bottles hanging from me, infected with invasive candidiasis and suffering from excruciating painful bedsores with a painful wound in my abdomen, which would not heal

Janice, 60 yrs old

In Feb., 2007 I was admitted to the hospital with MRSA and I came close to dying and still feel traumatized by it. I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis ( an auto-immune disease) 5 years ago and I was being treated with a biologic IV medication once a month and that is how I believe I contracted MRSA. My arm began to ache and went to the ER and they game me pain medication and the next day it was worse and I had flu-like symptoms and went back to the ER as the pain was increasing and moved to my shoulder and back. They did a blood culture and I went home, the next day they called me back, admitted me and put in the ICU, where I remained for 6 days. I had MRSA, pneumonia and heart failure, went on vanco and survived.

It was the most terrifying and awful experience of my life and as I processed what happened to me I thought, “Please God, don’t let me die like that”. Not being able to breathe, drowning and knowing you’re dying is horrifying and no one should have to experience this, especially when it is preventable. For two years since surviving MRSA, I’ve been in individual and group counseling, treated for depression and PTSD. I’m not over it yet and maybe never will be. I’m certainly not the same person I was.

BJ, La Quinta, CA

I was taken to the ER at JFK Hospital in indio, CA and an infection was suspected and my blood level had dropped to 70%. An IV was put in my arm in the ER and I was kept overnight. The next day i went home. Four days later I returned with a swollen right arm and was admitted, put in isolation and put on a couple of antibiotics. I was there 18 days. I was in very good health until then. This was in october of 2007. I continued the antibiotic after going home for a week. The medical bills totaled almost $100,000. I was not asked to pay a cent and asked my insurance company about it, at times weeping. They said not to worry, that I would not have to pay anything.

I would like to say that in researching MRSA after I was home that the CDC and even hospitals were not forthright about the stats, the situation and the seriousness of MRSA. They were tight lipped and authorized statements contained mis-information in and out of the government. it must not be tolerated. I wonder also, how close I came to dying? How sick was I? I got my medical records and they are brief, illegible and not at all comprehensive. The hospital kept sending administrators in to talk with me. I told them I would continue to refuse to talk to them without my attorney and insurance company representative present. They finally left me alone.

Jennifer 28 yrs old

For the past year I have been to the doctor at least a dozen times for different infections. Every time I would leave his office with a new antibiotic and be back at his office two weeks later. I was so fed up with this run-around and I had a boil on my arm. My doctor told me it was a spider bite and to keep it covered and take the antibiotics. Four days later I woke up with hives and I had my boyfriend rush me to the doctor. Finally, the doctor took a culture and it was MRSA. I was horrified, scared and angry. I was angry because I put my life in the hands of a doctor and having a disease that I know could have been fatal, it was upsetting. I understand now why I had so many infections. I hope that one day docotrs will be more cautious and aware of what they are dealing with. I have no idea how I contracted this disease, my doctor actually suggested that I might have gotten it from the doctor’s office. Scary!

Cami

In July of 2006 my 3 yr old son woke up feeling achy and with not much energy. We thought he had a cold and the next day he woke up screaming in severe pain and could not walk. We went to the hospital and by the time we got there he was going in and out of consciousness. His temp was 105.3 and he was laboring to breathe. Whatever he was battling was in his lungs, kidneys and the MRI showed spots all over his body. We spent a hirrific night listening to his screams of agony. Our 3 yr old son was telling us he was going to die. Within 2 days he was in an ICU unit in a coma and stayed that way for 3 weeks. He underwent several operations to cut out the infection from his muscles and bones. He spnt his 4th birthday in a coma. We had wonderful doctors that gave him a cocktail of antibiotics which slowly turned the tide of the infection. We spent the summer at the Children’s Hospital and the fall administering antibiotics in a picc line three time a day. He learned to walk again and build his strength. He fought hard and we are so luck we have him, so many times MRSA goes the other way. Now he is happy and a healthy 5 yr old who plays soccer, does Tae Kwon Do and loves music.

11 yr old Female

My daughter was 11 at the time ans came to me with pain on her leg the looked like a spider bite. She said it had been there for 4 days and I sent her to school. At 11:30am I received a call from the school saying my daughter was running a fever and had been sleeping. I picked her up and the spot on her ankle was twice the size. Her entire leg from the knee down was swollen three times its normal size. She had a fever of 104 and was admitted to the hospital and put on IV antibiotics. She recovered and six months later she had an area on her arm that looked like a spider bite and I took her to her doctor and again it was MRSA , but do to an early intervention she just had to take an antibiotic and have the area drained. She was screened for MRSA and was a carrier and was decolonized. My son had an area on his knee and it looked liked exzema and it tested positive for MRSA. He was put on an antibiotic and it healed. I am really thankful for this site.

Kim

My daughter was not feeling well and the next day she had a fever and complained of an ear ache. We took her to the doctor and he said no ear infection. We returned to the doctor as her pain had increased and again – no ear infection and the next day she could not hear and we went back to the doctor and then they see the ear infection. She has pale scaly hands and we go to the ER and they start an IV and then later we went home. She had yellow-greenish discharge in her pants the next day and we go back to the ER and they said for her to go to her GI appt. and the doctor did a culture of the discharge. She later had red bumps on her legs and getting more red and the red bumps now have white heads on them. The white heads disappeared, but her vaginal area is looking very red and alot of discharge. The doctor called and said that she had MRSA and started her on Bactrim. She got a rash, but the discharge stopped and her vaginal area improved and the red marks on her legs and arms improved. One year later her older sister had vagibal dischare and also had MRSA. We had everyone cultured. My biggest fear is that my little girls will be colonized through to adulthood and am petrified that infections will happen again. I know that my daughter ended up with this from the hospital.

Patti

I was in a motorcycle accident in 07 and separated my shoulder and fractured my tibia and fibula and had serious muscle and tissue damage. I was in the hospital for 3 1/2 weeks and had 11 surgeries to clean and reconstruct the muscle, implant a rod in my leg and insert pins in my shoulder. A few months later I was diagnosed with MRSA and osteo and continued treatment and the doctor said it is very hard to treat and the infection was preventing healing. Amputation might ocurr and I had 3 courses of IV antibiotics in 26 weeks and also Bactrim and told I might have to take it for the rest of my life. My wound was still open and draining and not healing. In 08 I took Allimax ( stabilized allicin) and within 3 weeks the infection began to heal. I was able then to have surgeries to remove the rod and have grafting done. I also did hyperbaric oxygen therapy in my recover plan and did 20 sessions. At the end of 2008 I stopped taking Bactrim and was just taking Allimed and my lab work came back normal. I am 11 months now MRSA free and thrilled to be walking again without any signs of infection.

Kayla – 18 yrs old

I have had MRSA four times and have been treated with multiple antibiotics for it and afte a couple of weeks they do not work. It has been a very painful and upsetting experience for me. The first time I got it it was under my arm and my doctor put gauze in to let it drain and for 20 days I had to keep pulling the gauze out and then I got it again. Then I got it on my buttocks and then by my hip. I do not wish MRSA on anyone, not even my worse enemy. I do not know where I got it from and my brother got it on his neck, my aunt got it, one of her sons got it on his hip and one of her daughters had it in her bloodstream and it was eating away at her femur and she was in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks. She had five surgeries and was sent home on a picc-line – she is 8 yrs old. She is still healing from it. MRSA can be a very painful experience for all ages, healthy or unhealthy – anyone can get it.

June – 60 yrs old

I live in Kentucky and in 07 and broke my ankle and I had it cultured and I had MRSA. I went to my doctor and he cleaned it out and sutured it and said nothing about MRSA. I went to another doctor and he said I could lose my leg if not my life and I was placed on a picc line with antibiotics and admitted to the hospital. My temp spiked to 104 and was told my port site was infected and had to have another picc line put in. I developed sepsis and pneumonia and finally was discharged and placed on home treatment. My wound site healed, but my ankle foot and leg continued to swell and I was told I had to have the hardware removed because was MRSA was on the hardware. I continued to have swelling and it got progressively harder to walk. I had a MRI and x-ray done and the cartilage had been destroyed and I was walking on bone-on-bone. I had surgery, an open left ankle arthrosesis and then therapy. I developed a blood clot was readmitted. I am very upset that my first surgeon neglected to tell me that I had MRSA. If I had been told as soon as the culture came back, maybe all of this could have been avoided. I am slowing getting on my feet and hopefully one day I will be able to do all the things I use to be able to do. God bless all of those who have suffered like situations and a special thanks to you, Jeanine who fights for change. Hopefully, the day will come that no person will have to tolerate the ignorance of some medical professionals.

Chuck – Columbus, OH

My mother (80) went to the hospital for surgery to remove fat tissue around a hernia and she became ill after surgery. She was so white and pale all over. The next morning doctors had to redo the surgery to remove something inside her. My mother became weaker in the recovery room. Mom was to suffer for 1/1/2 yrs and then she found out she had pancreatic cancer and 8 weeks later she died. Who will be charged because my mom got MRSA? My dad has to pay all the medical expenses and bills. Her skin my her stomache never healed – it was 2-3 inches open and 10 inches long. Nurses aides came to her house 3 times a week for the entire time to change her dressings and she suffered from so much pain. Bless my mother for her pain and suffering. My dad and brothers and sisters were in pain for her. May God bless Mom to be in heaven. Love you Mom.

34 yr old female

I live in Wisconsin and suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis that destroyed my hip bones and I needed hip replacement surgery.The first one went well and after the second surgery I had seepage in my stitches and the doctor kept telling me it was ok. Something didn’t feel right in my leg and when I took off my pants blood and pus was everywhere. I called my doctor, but he did not return my call and the next day we went to his office. My doctor sent me right to the hospital and they told me there that I had a serious infection and a 50/50 chance of surviving the surgery and I may lose my leg also. After the surgery I was screaming in pain and I had another surgery a a non-walking spacer was put in. In April 09 I had the spacer removed (different hospital) and was on a picc line for 9 weeks and told that best I could expect is to walk with a cane or limp. I am still using a wheelchair most of the time and need knee replacement surgery. I am very angry at having to deal with this disease that was given to me.

Stephanie – 28 yrs old

I am a mother of 4 boys, and I have always been healthy. In 2008 I got sick in January and every month after that I was on antibiotics, In July of 2009 I got a lump in my right thigh and had it removed. 2 days later it became infected and pus came out if it and it had to be lanced. I found out it was MRSA. Two of my boys got it and my boyfriend. I love when my doctors tell me I am exception and was told that IV drugs are the only way I have for a chance to live. I look into my boys faces and I get sad, will I ever see them graduate from high school? I am thankful that I found your web site and this gives me hope. I am getting remarried on Oct. 24th and glad I’m doing it in a month the spotlights MRSA. Thank you for letting me share with you my story.

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