Gene Mayfield

Survivor

My sepsis story began in October 2017. I hadn’t been feeling well and thought I had the flu. I had the body aches and was running a high fever. My fever would break at night and I would wake up to my sheets soaked in sweat and I would be freezing. I kept putting of going to the doctor because I was trying to make it through Halloween night, my wife and my second anniversary.

The photo I am showing was taken the day I went to the emergency room, this is how bad I looked and how bad I was suffering. When I got to the hospital before any labs were done, they thought I was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they did not believe I was sick. They treated me very poorly and even held off on starting an IV even though I was badly dehydrated.

At 4:30 on Halloween night I couldn’t take it any more and crawled into the ambulance wearing only my underwear, I couldn’t even get dressed or grab my wallet or insurance card. I was taken to a local hospital and they could not believe my temperature was over 102 degrees. They started treating my for the flu and running blood work. I was delirious from the fever and could barely breathe.

The lab results showed that I had pneumonia in both lungs and was also in septic shock. They immediately transferred me to a state of the art facility for treatment. (Sepsis and Pneumonia)

My wife wasn’t able to go with me when I was transferred. The doctor called by wife and asked if they could intubate me and put me in a medically induced coma, they said I only had a 30% chance of living. I don’t remember the next few days, I was delirious from the fever and was being given morphine and xanax. After a week in intensive care I was able to walk out of the hospital and continue my antibiotics at home.

I am physically fine now but am suffering from post sepsis syndrome. (Sepsis and Post-Sepsis Syndrome) I cannot go to sleep and when I do fall asleep I have vivid dreams of my time in ICU. I have vivid flashbacks to all the needles, IVs and lab draws. Just think about a needle sends chills all over my body. I know that my body will recover from the septic shock but I don’t know if my mind will ever be the same. I am living moment by moment and hoping every day will be a little bit better.