In November 2012 I had my pacemaker changed out. (Sepsis and Surgery, Sepsis and Invasive Devices) The new pacemaker was attached to 2 wires that had been put into my heart 23 years earlier. About 2 weeks later the incision had become red, swollen and had blisters. The incision started to separate. The surgeon looked at it in his office and said, “I have no clue what is wrong.” He sent me across the hall from his office to my cardiologist. I wasn’t even given a “patient” room and was seated in a hall.
The doctor looked at me and said, “Mr. Jennings, you are worrying for no reason. Go home and rest, you will be fine.” Later that night at home I started running a fever and experienced stabbing/burning pains all throughout my body. My urine was a dark yellow and thick, yet I believed what the doctor said, that I would be fine.
The next morning my brother came to pick me up for church. When he saw me, he immediately said “You are going to the emergency room.” They drew blood and took a portable chest x-ray. Next was a flurry of activity. 2 IVs were hooked up. One in each arm. I was placed on oxygen and given multiple shots. The doctor came in and said that they were going to send me to a hospital 40 miles away to ICU. I asked him if it was really necessary and he said, “Mr. Jennings, if you don’t go, you will be dead before midnight.” He said that I had severe sepsis, c-diff and that my kidneys had quit and my liver was failing, and my lungs was filling with fluid. (Sepsis and C. Difficile)
I was placed in ICU and stayed there for 29 days. I did, in fact, die at 5 minutes before midnight that 1st night. I coded and was placed on a ventilator and stayed on it for 11 days. During that time I died 2 more times and had 2 surgeries and was placed on dialysis. One surgery, the doctors used a laser to burn out the 2 wires that went into my heart for they had become infected. I was given a 2 percent chance of living. At one point I had 17 IVs hooked up to me. My body gained 80 pounds of fluid.
Today I am able to live alone. I drive and teach a Sunday school class. I didn’t suffer any permanent damage from the sepsis. My kidneys and liver and lungs are all working normal. God was good to me!!! I am grateful for this 2nd chance of life and I am trying to enjoy every minute of it.