Antoinette’s Story: Amazing Recovery After Near-Fatal Allergic Reaction

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , /

I was at home, I was getting ready to go to bed, and my tongue started swelling. And I said, “I’m going to the emergency
room,” and the doctor said you’re having an allergic reaction to something, they didn’t know what, and he gave me 3 shots of Benadryl and I remember him saying, this is not working and we’re going to have to intubate you. She had a respiratory failure, which means she actually stopped breathing, winded up on a machine, a ventilator
machine to breathe for her. They didn’t know if I was going to make it or not. And when I did wake up I thought it was the next day, but it had apparently been about four to six
weeks. I was in a medically induced coma. When Antoinette came to us, she was unable to communicate, unable to swallow, largely bed-bound, unable to interact. From laying down for so long, I could not walk, I couldn’t move my legs, and I
didn’t think that I would ever be able to eat again, I didn’t think I’d ever be
able to talk again. What we do is we analyze the situation as, how are we going to get this patient better, what is it that this patient needs? The people here are very nice. The respiratory people and the people in physical
therapy pushed me. Even though she was very sick, she’s still tried very very
hard and she just made me, like, see the bigger picture about, you know, being
a patient, and being on the other side and taking care of her. You need to have your
family or somebody around you that you know cares, and when my family wasn’t here, that’s what these people at Kindred did. She weaned from the ventilator. She was able to learn to speak with her voice. It turned out to be a miracle where Antoinette actually left
us being able to walk out of the hospital. It was wonderful to be able to
see, you know, some of the people that were
here and the people that cared for me and how happy they were to see me be
able to walk in. And I purposely did not bring my cane or my walker today. I said, “I can do this!” I felt so happy and I felt so, like, at peace, like I could finally give her another hug, like, without her hospital gown on and stuff like that. And she just looked so good and so happy. It just totally touched my heart. Just to see somebody glowing like that, having been through such prolonged hospitalization and illness and
rather than complaining about it and focusing on why did this happen to me, she’s just a role model. There’s a song that we sing at church that said, my good days start to outweigh my bad days, so I’m not going to complain. I felt good today. She was just so happy and you would never think that she was ever a patient here. They had some really nice
people here that treated me very nicely and with a lot of dignity, and I’m very grateful to everyone that
had a hand in my care while I was here.

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