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From Our Inbox: 36-year-old Firefighter Battles C. diff

We received this email a few weeks ago and wanted to share it with everyone since it’s a perfect example of how clostridium difficile infections are increasingly harming younger and younger people. The stereotypical C. diff patient is an elderly person recovering from surgery. But, as we learned with our mother, Peggy, and other from previous stories we’ve shared, stereotypes are dangerous. While it’s important for healthcare workers to understand the typical risk factors of a C. diff patient, being married to a particular patient profile can cause dangerous infections to go undiagnosed.

This story, shared by a young, firefighter/paramedic, not only dispels the myths of the typical C. diff patient, but also shows that there is hope for recovery and illustrates the triumph of will and spirit over this terrible infection.

You truly are an inspiration and I’m sure your mom is watching down from above with a huge smile for her sons. It is such a tribute that you would take this fight on to help others and raise awareness of this deadly disease.

I am 36 years old and have recurrent c diff. I was first diagnosed in 2009 when I was a healthy firefighter/paramedic. The disease almost cost me my life. I dropped 80 lbs and was a walking skeleton. I was in and out of the hospital for two months and then in a nursing home at the ripe old age of 34. I made a promised to myself that I would recover and I did for two and a half years.

Not without a lot of work and support from my doctors. It took me almost a year to recover and then I decided to run my first Sprint triathlon. I competed in it back in august of 2011 with my entire family by my side. It was such an emotional day. Unfortunately I had to have two minor abdominal surgeries in Nov and Dec and the c diff returned with a vengeance. I will conquer this again and I will get back on my feet.

Thank you for letting me share my story and I would like to help in any way that I can to help spread the word. Once I am able to start walking again I would love to run in honor of all the c diff sufferers around the globe. It’s giving me an incentive and goal.

Thank you again for all that you have done.



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