Life is full of mysteries. One of those mysteries has the finest doctors baffled while it marches through nearly 95,000 people annually and in 2005 is believed responsible for some 19,000 deaths-that is twice the number of AIDS deaths in this country.
What is it? Who gets it and why?
It is officially called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or better known as MRSA. It is also referred to as a "superbug."
Why is it so dangerous? A victim can feel fine one hour and the next
hour he starts complaining of a variety of fairly common discomforts.
Unfortunately some die within a day or two, some sooner than that. And
just as mysteriously as one gets so ill, mysteriously many eventually
Well-known Eagle Point Wayne Jackson is one of the survivors, but it has been a rough road.
and his wife, Louise, were wintering in Ariona. Wayne returned home
from the golf course one February afternoon .and said he didn’t feel
well and wanted to leave for home. They hit the road in their motor
home as soon as they could.
Once home, he went to the
doctor complaining specifically of his leg and back hurting. There was
a cat scan and x-rays, with no answers. Th next stop as the emergency
room. At one time there were five doctors inside the little cubical and
one outside – all trying to find an answer.. Wayne is not one to be ill
or to complain about a few aches and pains. He spent many years as an
electrician and with his wife, owned Jackson Electric.
cat scan was taken, a bit higher on his back and there they saw T-12
was being eaten away. Infection had settled there. Surgery would not
cure this problem. He was put on antibiotics and spent a week in the
hospital where he was fitted with a brace that encircled him much like
a clam shell. There were daily trips to get an antibiotic injection.
daily trips to Medford only lasted four days when he had unbelievably
painful leg spasms. One of those occurred while he was receiving an
injection. The doctor thought he might be allergic to the medication.
So they tried two other antibiotics, only to fine he also reacted to
them. By this time it was April.
The next step was to a nursing home- first one, then another.
is little Wayne remembers about his painful journey. The mind truly
does play games, sometimes those games are a means of protection the
victim. To this day, people still remind him of their visit to the
hospital and of his conversation with them. He has no recollection.
He knocked at death’s door three times. There was no answer.
brought Wayne home on July 9, 2006.. He was in a wheelchair. It took
two or three months and a specially built brace for an uncooperative
leg to get him out of the wheelchair and into a walker. The walker came
about a year after he initially became ill. From the walker, came a
cane. And today he walks alone and has gotten rid of the 25 medicines
he came home with. His feet have that tingling feeling one gets when
they slept on their hand wrong, but that’s minor to Wayne. The doctor
says it is a result of nerve damage from the T-12 infection.
did Wayne become a MRSA victim? No one knows for sure. Will it
reoccur? No one knows for sure. It is known that staph infections
remain dormant in the body until something triggers them into action.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent