Lawrence (Ken) Arflin
My story is old but it seems like yesterday. I woke up on the morning of January 8, 2008 feeling good. At around 10 am I started feeling light headed and it progressively got worse. I was taken to the hospital, diagnosed with pneumonia, and sent home with some antibiotics. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) As the day went on, the lightheaded feeling came back, and walking became difficult due to the lack of balance, and dizziness. As time continued so did my symptoms except it got to the point I could not walk, extreme feeling of sickness, (difficult to explain), and extreme pain in my abdomen area. (This later turned out to be pancreatitis). An ambulance was called and when the paramedics had me in the back, one of them took my blood pressure. I will never forget him call out, 62 over 34. He told me not to move due to the possibility of internal bleeding. The last thing I remembered was being taken in to the ER, then lights out. Finding out later they had placed me in a medical coma, and put me on a respirator pretty fast.
My fiancee later told me the room was full of doctors, even the life flight crew working to keep me alive as my organs began to dysfunction and fail. I was pulled out of the coma on January 15th, and taken off the respirator the following day. As I opened my eyes I had members of my family standing around my bed. They came from different states to say their goodbyes because as they were notified, they were told I was not expected to live. At that point they had already made arrangements for my funeral, and some joked about having to take time off work.
It’s not everyday you know the plans for your own funeral, but it was in a weird way heart felt. Three days later, yes, three days I walked out of the hospital a septic shock survivor. It by the way was caused by what the doctor said “MRSA Pneumonia”. Being a man of God I have to say in retrospect having a near death experience changed me in many positive ways. I appreciate each full day, and started truly trying to get closer to God. I was called “The miracle man” by hospital staff. I am thankful for the Sepsis Alliance, and the awareness campaign they have been working on for years. Every time my wife, or I go to the Hospital, sepsis is the first thing I discuss as a concern no matter our symptoms. God Bless all of you and thank you.