Home > remember > Five Years Later, a Memorial

Five Years Later, a Memorial

Friday, April 2, 2010, 11:34 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Five years ago today, my cousin, Jeff, died of necrotizing fasciitis.

During the week before Easter, Jeff had been feeling lousy, fighting what he described as flu-like symptoms. His sister, Jen, and her family were hoping he would feel well enough to join them in Connecticut for Easter dinner on March 27, but he failed to arrive or call. Being unable to contact him, Jen called one of his friends in New York, who went to his apartment and found him unconscious and critically ill. For eight days, he underwent aggressive antibiotic treatment and multiple surgeries, including amputation of an arm, in an attempt to stop the spread of the bacterium. The infection spread anyway, and when the doctors recommended a more radical operation to remove the entire shoulder, his parents made the difficult decision to forgo further surgery. The family had discussed it and agreed that it was the decision Jeff would have made for himself. Less than a week after he was admitted to the hospital, he died.

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