How Can You Help?
Share your StorySupport UsGet Resources

Rick Slisz


I died and later was in a coma for 6 months when I was 11. But that’s another story.

I’m not going to drag out the whole story. When I was 45, I was in a situation where I was bitten. I started with a mild fever and flu like symptoms. By the next day I was burning up and my whole body hurt. Being as stubborn as I am I would not go to the doctor. When I became delirious, my wife dragged me to health care. I wasn’t there 5 minutes when they called an ambulance. At this point I was in and out.

I remember hearing the paramedic say that he did not think I would make it to the hospital. Than I heard the bells and whistles. I was on this dirt road I could feel the sun on my back and a cool breeze on my face. As I walked along I passed cottages. People sat on the porches and they waved and smiled as I walked by. I came up on this old bridge and when I looked down I saw my father-in-law and brother-in-law sitting with fishing poles. Dad looked up and said, “Come on down here and drop a line.” He handed me a cold beer and I threw my arms around him then Jack stood up and I grabbed him tight. They both stepped back and said it wasn’t my time yet. It felt like someone kicked me in the chest, yea the paddles hurt.

Next I was in the ER. They had all kinds of stuff hooked up to me. They did a spinal tap and poked and prodded. The doctor said that he has done all he can do but I was in the last stage of sepsis, my body was shutting down. They put me in a private room and they would not let anyone see me. As I lay there minutes took hours and I could hear all the dohickies they had on me. Then I got this horrible pain in my chest to my jaw and down my arm. I could here all kinds of alarms going off. I knew this was it, all mattered and all that would was over. Then the room got quiet and as I looked up I saw 2 angels above me. One came down and gently laid its hand on my chest. All the pain was gone and I felt more at peace than I ever had.

I heard all the nurses run into the room and I sat up and said what’s the problem. They were looking at me like they saw a ghost. They called a doctor who called another doctor. I asked again what the hell is going on. One of the doctors looked at me and said I was supposed to be dead. I joked and said that the boney fingered bastard came for me and I told him don’t make me have to hurt you. It didn’t take long for my employees to hear the story and then all my contractors. The story got bigger and bigger as stories do. Of course I didn’t dispute it I loved every second of it.

The next time I went septic, my prostate enlarged and I could not pass urine. It caused a massive infection that touched all my organs. You guessed it, I thought I had the flu. Once again I beat it. When people asked how I was I said I made a deal with death. I told him if he leaves me alone I won’t have to hurt him.

Send us Your Story
Learn More about SepsisSupport Faces of Sepsis