Lake Jackson resident Vince Chappell, 53, has fished in Aransas Pass countless times. However, during his trip in June, he cut his foot while wade fishing and started feeling pain almost instantly.
When he got home the next day, his wife Janie said she, “Had to pull him out of the truck because he was so sick.” She saw what looked like bruises on his calf. “I just thought he had the flu,” she said. So she put him to bed and gave him fluids.
That night, the bruises had turned to black blisters and Vince was complaining about pain in his arm and his leg. That led to a visit to Urgent Care, and, ultimately, to checking into Pearland Medical Center (PMC).
Doctors concluded that Vince had contracted Vibrio, more commonly known as the “flesh-eating bacteria.” Contracting the infection from an open wound is not a common occurrence. People with compromised immune systems or diabetes have a greater risk.
Chappell spent 39 days in Pearland Medical Center, part of that time on life support. His kidneys had shut down and the infection spread to his blood (Sepsis). He spent several days on dialysis and a ventilator. He’s had 15 surgeries to date and comes in every Monday for further treatment. When his skin heals enough, he will spend another 10-14 days in PMC for skin grafts.
“He’s so much better than he was, but he still has a long way to go,” said Janie. “If he gets out of bed, he faints. He’s on a lot of medication. But we are so blessed. I think that because we went to PMC, Vince got to keep his leg.”
The Chappells are very happy with the care that both of them received while at PMC. “They treated us like family. I had several people make sure that even I was eating and taking care of myself,” Janie said.
Vince and Janie would like to extend thanks to:
Ghongkedze Agfuokizeh (Afu), RN; Chinwe Udeh, RN; and Lejin Varghese, RN in ICU; Jill Mellor, Lead Respiratory Therapist; Dr. Eddie Lambert, Surgeon; Dr. William Dudley, Anestegiologist; Dr. Paige Cohick – Anestegiikist; Leisha D’Angelo, Director of Community and Public Relations, for handling media requests and providing a shoulder to lean on; and Tina Wilkins in Med Surg for the meal voucher every single day.
“Prayers really got us through the first weeks,” said Janie. “I don’t have a single complaint about the hospital or its employees, which is something I never thought I’d say about a hospital.”
For more information about Pearland Medical Center, visit PearlandMC.com.