28 Aug Kayla’s Story
1. Briefly describe how your patient journey began?
In October of 2011 I was a 22-year-old mom to a rambunctious 3-year-old toddler, a full-time dental assistant,
and full-time dental hygiene student. I happened to have a Friday off of work and began experiencing sudden
back pain. I thought I had pulled a muscle, but the pain progressed. My mother took me to the ER because my
husband was at work and I was told I had a kidney infection and given a pain shot and sent home. Saturday, I
took another trip to the ER when I was experiencing severe pain with vomiting and fever. I had my scan that
revealed a 6mm kidney stone and was told I would pass it. Sunday, I was getting ready to go to another hospital
and the urologist called and wanted me at the hospital early Monday. My best friend was my surgical nurse.
When I woke up from surgery my temp was 108 and my stats were BP 60/20 and HR 200 bpm. I have medical
knowledge and knew this wasn't good. I had an abscess that went into my bloodstream and caused Severe
Septic Shock. My organs began to fail, and my husband had to sign a form allowing the hospital to administer
Xigris in any hopes of me not dying. I was placed in a medical coma and on life support for nearly 3 days. I am a
2. How did your journey change you?
I am grateful for every second of every day. I live life with a smile on my face and tell people all the time that I
am a walking miracle. I am blessed to watch my children grow. I will turn the big 3-0 in November and most
people hate it, but I know I could have stopped having birthdays nearly 8 years ago! My doctor told me that I
came as close to death as anyone could and had I not had surgery on that Monday I probably would have gone
to sleep at some point on Monday and NEVER awoken.
3. Is there a specific medicine/treatment/medical device/pharmaceutical company you are grateful for?
Although it is no longer in use I feel Xigris saved my life.
4. Who are you most grateful for and why?
I am grateful for my best friend, Kayla Hall, for being by my side during
this horrid ordeal! I am grateful for my friend, Denise Hall, for bringing me a toothbrush (although I was too
weak to use it on my own for about a week) because she knew it would make me feel better. I am most thankful
for my husband who had to make the difficult decision to try and save my life and thank goodness it WORKED!
5. How will you celebrate Grateful Patient Day on September 7?
I will spend Grateful Patient Day advocating for the Sepsis Alliance Organization (since I am a two-time survivor
and SEPtember is Sepsis Awareness month.) I already have my fundraising fb link set up and will begin my
fundraising on September 1st. Each day in September I will share facts about Sepsis, share celebrity stories, etc.
On September 7th, I plan on sharing the story about my wonderful nurse (and childhood best friend) that was
with me during the scary time of becoming septic. Although she was terrified she might lose me, she acted
quickly with the rest of the medical staff to save my life.
Submitted by Grateful Patient, Kayla Irick