Marshall and Christina Jones, in College Station, TX.
Marshall is a recent survivor of near-fatal MRSA septicemia stemming from an infection of the epidural space of his spine. We live on a ranch with 2 of our 3 children (one is in college at LSU). We love animals and have a very large collection of pets (dogs, cats, donkeys, cows, chickens, ducks, horses…). Marshall is a former Realtor and is now the Director of Finance and Human Resources at Petrospect, Christina stays at home with the children and runs the household, her websites (including this one) and various other projects.
We are so concerned about this bacteria and the fact that no one is aware of it until they already have it, and sometimes not until it is too late. We are also concerned about MRSA becoming more prevalent in the community setting. When we needed it, we had the most difficult time finding relevant information, and we feel that God has directed us to use our situation and skills to help others in this way. In the process, we met Denise (below), who has been moved in a similar way to help others deal with this horrible illness. We hope and pray that if you are suffering with this life threatening illness that you will find the information you are looking for here, in an easy to find format. Please read our MRSA story, it is one that should encourage you, as well as open your eyes to some things you might not have thought about.
-M & C
Contact Marshall and Christina at email@example.com.
My name is Denise. I am the proud mother of 2 wonderful daughters, Emily and Jeanne. Emily is 5 years old. She is funny, kind, outgoing, compassionate and her teachers say she tells the best stories. Emily is a survivor of MRSA infection. Jeanne is 3 years old. She is funny, sweet, easy-going, thoughtful and her teachers say she isnâ€™t afraid of anything! Jeanne is a survivor of MRSA infection. I had never heard of MRSA before July 2004. I only knew that Emily got sick much more often than any of her friends did. It seemed like as soon as she finished one course of antibiotics, she got sick again and went on another course of antibiotics. After two sets of ear tubes and numerous infections, her ENT cultured the drainage from Emilyâ€™s ears. Two weeks later, the test results showed MRSA and I found out the reason why my daughter wasnâ€™t getting better.
It was at this point that I learned about the terrible void of information available about this bacteria, even in the medical community. I began to read anything and everything about MRSA that I could get my hands on.
We took Emily to a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist. She was treated with a 5 week course of Zyvox. I took comfort in the thought that with proper diagnosis, she had a good chance of the treatment being effective. The medications that are effective against MRSA are powerful and they come with their own set of risks. Emilyâ€™s blood count had to be monitored while on the Zyvox and she had certain food restrictions. She was pretty weak from being sick for so long and MRSA seems to make a person â€œout of sorts.â€ Emily had been on many courses of antibiotics before this that had held the infection at bay, only to come back again as soon as the medication was finished. The doctors had told me that if the Zyvox didnâ€™t work, the next step would be Vancomycin. So, we prayed a lot and, thank God, the Zyvox worked! In October, Emily was pronounced MRSA infection free!
In the meantime, Jeanne got an ear infection. She had rarely been sick until now. Her ear infection got bad really quickly and her eardrum burst. We feared the worst. The ENT cultured her infection and we were happy to find out it was not MRSA. Jeanne was treated with normal antibiotics and the infection cleared up nicely. The fluid in her ears did not. The doctor advised us to have ear tubes put in, so the fluid could drain. It was affecting her hearing and there was concern of possible hearing damage. Of course, we were afraid that having tubes put in would make Jeanne more susceptible to getting MRSA. We asked the ENT, we asked the Infectious Disease specialist, we spoke with the pediatrician. At the time, I did not know about hospital acquired infections. I did not know that MRSA as an ear infection is extremely unusual. I did not know that the CDC defined a surgical site infection as one that occurs within one year of having a foreign body implanted. I did not know that it takes a certain amount of time for MRSA to develop into an infection or to incubate. I was simply frightened at the idea of my 3 year old having ear tubes put in. So, we waited. We postponed the surgery until Emily was considered infection free. Since the fluid was still in Jeanneâ€™s ears, we then proceeded
Within 6 weeks, Jeanne had MRSA infection in both her ears. The surgeon had taken a sterile culture of the fluid when he operated, so we know she was MRSA free at that time. Over the New Year weekend, my sweet little 28 pound 3 year old had pus and blood oozing from both her ears. Her infection was cultured, she was put on Bactrim, but continued to get worse. The doctor then prescribed Zyvox for her for 3 weeks. One of the ear tubes that had just been put in got pushed out from the severity of the ear drainage. Emily had a recurrence so for a period of time, both my girls had active MRSA infection.
This was a very difficult time for me. I was very frightened. Since ear infections tend to be more painful at night, it was not unusual for me to be up and down with my children crying in pain for most of the night. I reached out for support on the internet, to help me cope with what was happening and to try to find answers out about how this could happen to two small children in one family.
Many people offered me their support at that time. When Tony Field, Chairperson of the UK MRSA Support Group, learned about my daughtersâ€™ infections from another group member, he contacted me by e-mail. Tony provided me with invaluable information and provided me with many resources. We remained in contact while my daughtersâ€™ were both ill. Emily & Jeanne call him their friend Tony from England. They would send him e-mails with smiley faces and animal pictures and Tony would send them assorted photos of animals like chickens and cats. It was a bright spot in a difficult time for our family.
Another person, from the Yahoo support group, held my girls in prayer. She prayed that God would use our situation for good. I clung to that prayer like a drowning person would cling to a life preserver, praying over and over again for my childrenâ€™s health and for God to use our situation to help others.
My children have been MRSA infection free for about 3 months now, thank God. During this time, Tony and I have remained in contact. Tony and his wife Barbara offered to come to our country to help spread awareness about this infection in our country, just as they have done in their own country. My stepson, James, agreed to accompany Tony and Barbara on their tour of the USA and keep a journalistic chronicle of the trip. James introduced me to his friend and colleague, Jeff Beyrau, Director of Prizefighter Films. James, Jeff, Tony, Barbara and I all agreed that the best way to make this campaign as effective as possible was to create a documentary about MRSA and Tonyâ€™s fight against it.
Working towards creating this documentary for me is like a prayer in action. I thank God every day that my childrenâ€™s infections didnâ€™t spread and that they are both infection free and in good health today. I pray that God will use our situation for good. If one life is saved, if one limb is saved, if one family is saved from the suffering caused by MRSA infection, it will make every effort worthwhile. What happened to my children should not have happened. I canâ€™t do anything to change that. But I can help raise awareness about this and try to prevent it from happening to others.
Contact Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January 2004 my mother, Johanna Daly, entered the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York a healthy 63 year old woman. She had only a broken shoulder. Mom contracted infections in the hospital among the infections were MRSA. My poor mother suffered horribly for four months due to these infections. She became a unable to move anything but her head, she was incontinent, on a ventilator and a feeding tube. Perhaps the most difficult thing was that she had horrible difficulty communicating. She sounded as though she had suffered a stroke when she spoke. But she had not had a stroke all of her suffering was caused by infections.
On May 23, 2004 my mother died as a direct result of the hospital acquired infections. I knew that nothing would bring her back. I was angry and heart broken. An administrator at the Hospital for Joint Diseases told me that these infections and deaths happen everyday in every hospital all over America. I was told that I would just have to accept that these things happen. I was told that these infections are “the cost of doing the business of medicine.” My anger now became outrage. I thought it was bad enough that my mother had died from complications from a broken shoulder. My family and I had thought it reasonable to believe that one should not die from a broken shoulder. We were shocked by how accepting the administrators of the Hospital for Joint Diseases were of this horrible tragedy. It was quite simply no big deal to them.
My anger lead me to write many letters of complaint and inquiry. Most went unanswered. In March 2005, I heard of a group named RID or the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. I became the first volunteer. We work everyday to reduce infection deaths nationwide. We are confident that we will be successful. We are determined to prevent others from suffering my family’s tragedy. We were delighted when Governor Pataki signed the “Hospital Infection Reporting Bill” into law on July 21, 2005.
My work with RID introduced me to Denise. I am very pleased to join forces with her and her organization. I am happy to support her and Hands of Hope/MRSA Support in any way I can.
I applaud Denise and the MRSA SUPPORT group for their hard work and efforts. When my family was going through my mother’s illness and death we felt very alone. We had no idea how many others were going through similar experiences. We did not know where to turn. I am grateful that there is a place to turn for support, understanding and information.