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Andrew Kaminski


On a Monday in February 2014, I began feeling ill but it did not seem serious at the time. By Tuesday, I had significant pain in his arm and side, and by Wednesday morning I was headed to the ER and diagnosed with sepsis and my body was in septic shock. They identified a source of infection and took me into surgery. Surgery went well, however, the doctors were very straightforward with my family that night. They explained that i was very sick and that the next few hours would be critical. Their hope was I would survive the night.

The root problem was a strep bacteria that somehow entered my bloodstream. From there infection spread rapidly and my blood pressure fell drastically which caused a limited blood flow to my organs. My kidneys went into renal failure and was on 24/7 dialysis. The dialysis worked to clean my blood and eliminated acid from my blood and helped to increase my blood pressure. I was on multiple medications to fight the infection, but the infection was quite strong and the medical staff told my family it could take days before the antibiotics would begin to attack the infection. But I was on medications that limited the blood flow to non-vital areas which is caused some issues with my extremities. My heart was working so hard and and heart rate had been double what they prefer.

All in all, I’ve had over ten surgeries, sustained severe nerve damage in my left hand and lost a few toes. (Sepsis and Amputations) I may walk a little differently but this experience and the brilliant staff at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City has changed my life forever. Because of them I get to continue to be a husband, father, son, brother, cousin, uncle and friend. I spent about 6 months at home before going back to work and while it’s never easy I’ve strived to keep my spirits up and continue to grow and become the man I’m supposed to be. All of these survivors are brave and strong people and even those of us who didn’t make it are heroes of mine.

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