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Debra Spencer

I got C.diff following an emergency room visit for a salivary stone, where Clindamycin was prescribed. The stone resolved itself, but now I have been fighting C.diff for nine months. I missed being present for my mother’s final illness and death, as I could not visit her in the hospital while infected. And, I have been on Vancomycin almost constantly since my original C. diff infection.

I was passed up the line from my regular physician to a GI specialist, to an Infectious Diseases doctor who recommended I find a (clinical trial) study since we were running out of options. I had an expensive Zinplava infusion to hopefully bind C.diff toxins, and a colonoscopy to assess possible damage to my large intestine.

Recently, I qualified as one of 200 participants in a Stage 3 clinical trial to receive the SER-109 protocol, which will attempt to restore my shattered microbiome. It involves a three-day oral treatment of purified gut organisms to try to overwhelm the dormant C.diff spores. I will be followed up for 27 weeks, during which I will provide stool samples to monitor possible C. diff recurrences. I have literally been praying daily for a miracle to cure me of this devastating disease. I am probably the only person I know who was grateful for the social restrictions of the COVID-19 crisis, as I could limit my social interactions without having to explain why I could not travel, share living spaces, or lead any sort of normal life.

Despite being very well-read, I had never heard of C.diff and was unaware of its risk factors and prominence as a health crisis. I had to learn to be my own advocate and to adjust my lifestyle to accommodate this debilitating medical condition.

I fervently hope this current (clinical trial) study can resolve the vicious cycle of C.diff recurrence. But I will be at risk for the rest of my life should I require antibiotics.









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