Hi, my name is Keith Whatley,
I am 25 years old, and as of 12/08/2016, I am a sepsis survivor.
In December of 2008, 16 years old, I was diagnosed with F.A.P. Familial Adenomatous Polyposis which is an inherited disorder characterized by cancer of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.
I had to undergo many procedures and surgeries that led to me having an intestines reduction, a ostomy bag for 1.5 months, had a J-Pouch inserted due to having rectum and intestines removed, and a very crucial diet due to my body not being able to break down certain food the way that everyone else can.
December 2016 – Hospital 1
On December 2, 2016 I began to have sharp and excruciating pain in my abdomen. I thought it was just another blockage and went to the hospital to get my intestines flushed out like I have had to do many other times.
Well when I went to the first hospital I waited for 2 hours crying and bleeding. After being taken to the back and given a room in the ER, I was there for a total of 1-1.5 hours and was just told,
“Your C.A.T. scan does look a little funny but it might just be from your previous surgeries. Contact the last hospital you had a C.A.T. Scan and have them fax it over and we will schedule a follow up. You’re just dehydrated so drink some gatorade – you’re free to go.”
So after exchanging some words to ensure that they know I may have a blockage and explaining that I was bleeding, they still didn’t do anything.
So I got some gatorade at gas station and my friend took me home.
6 Hours Later
Not even 6 hours later I ended up calling 911 due to an unbearable and indescribable pain in my lower abdomen, vomiting profusely, and a lack of being able to go to the bathroom.
The Ambulance arrived and questioned why I just didn’t have my friend take me to the ER?
I had to argue with them for 15 minutes, explaining that I had just been to another hospital, waited 2 hours in ER just to have nothing done to help and I didn’t want to be waiting in the ER again because the pain was too high to do so.
When in the back of Ambulance I told the Technician all about my previous medical history and what I thought was causing the pain.
Whenever we arrived at the second hospital all I remember is being pushed to the nurses station. I then flipped out my phone to call my mom (because everytime I go in I call her to inform her), but before I could even dial her number, I blacked out!
Apparently this is when my intestines erupted inside of me due to a small bowel obstruction due to volvulus in distal portions, internal hernia with ischemia.
…and I woke up 6 days later in ICU!
Post op I went into septic shock, requiring full ventilator support and vasopressors.
I remember waking up and that is when I called my mom after being explained what had happened to me.
Right when she picked up the phone and I said hi, I remember her saying,
“Oh my God I thought I was never going to hear your voice again.”
We ended up talking on the phone until I became very fatigue and fell asleep but still had no idea how bad my condition was.
First Memory Flash
When I woke up next, that is when I had my first memory flash.
All I can remember was that my hands were restraint to the bed and me screaming at the doctor (someone that I didn’t recognize until she walked in 5 minutes after I just woke up from my nap).
She went into further detail about my condition and that I was still not out of the clear.
She told me that tomorrow was my peak period. Either I was going to feel a little bit better and that was a good sign. Or I’m gonna feel like a train just hit me and that means were gonna need to do another 3 procedures.
First Panic Attack & Prayers
That night was the night that I had my first panic attack thinking I was not going to wake up after I closed my eyes. I remember calling my mom telling her I loved her in case I didn’t wake up.
I also called the minister to my room to pray with me as I explained my fear. Him and his wife prayed, talked, and visited with me for about 10-20 minutes.
Yes the doctors saved my life but I know that God was watching out for me because that next day I woke up with just mid pains. I was able to sit up in bed on my own, do physical therapy, and I did a lap around the nurses station twice that day.
After 2 days of being awake in ICU, I was moved to the critical care unit and was there for only 2-3 days and was actually released.
Still to this day I am experiencing signs of Post Sepsis Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I hear odd sounds, people talking, flashes of memories that scare me, hallucinations, depression, mood swings and audial hallucinations.
I don’t know what to do or who to talk to because I fear that they will not understand or will think that I am crazy because they are not informed enough about PSS or Sepsis.
By Keith Whatley