This article was submitted by Mayo Clinic Jacksonville patient, Fred Page
In late summer 2005, after 50 days in a non-Florida hospital, a nurse helped me out of the wheelchair and into my wife’s waiting vehicle. We were going home! Our battle waged with the deadly bacteria pseudomonas had ended. However, a weight loss of nearly 30 pounds, a badly scarred torso and neck, along with a feeding tube, sporadic periods of aspirations and a paralyzed vocal cord clearly reminded us that the overall battle was only changing locations.
After a brief while at home, we began to better understand where we had been and where we were then. The extended hospital stay had been laced with life-saving circumstances and events. These included, among others, recovery from a code and having two liters of infection surgically removed from my chest cavity. Although considerable healing had taken place, significant medical needs continued including additional hospital admissions and surgeries to treat the ravages of the battle with infection. These challenges were exceedingly difficult for me and for my family.
A very important conversation took place in the summer of 2006 with my attending gastroenterologist. At that time, he shared with us that he believed my needs could best be served in another setting. He went on to say that, with our approval, he would refer me to Dr. Michael Wallace of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.