In March 2015 I was a mild-mannered, 40-year-old husband and father of three when, one day, I scratched my right hand on my garage wall. A few days later, my right arm had swollen to three times its normal size, and I was taken to the hospital. Eventually, I had transformed into...COMA MAN, capable of sleeping for four days straight, feeling absolutely nothing, and thinking that I lived in the past!
I had contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a rare but deadly bacterial infection that ravaged my skin and almost killed me. Thankfully, the surgeons at Mayo Clinic successfully removed the infected areas and helped me start my journey down...THE ROAD TO RECOVERY!
Starting down that road was not easy, as I had a gaping hole in my left leg from a skin flap extraction, and a thigh muscle was removed. So, I had to take literal baby steps. However, I emerged from my hospital room looking like...A GUY WHO LOOKS LIKE A MIX BETWEEN WALTER WHITE AND A DISCOUNT DEADPOOL!
After about two months, I had healed and recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital where I received three weeks of home therapy and six months of physical therapy. I didn't leave the hospital with just my scars, though; I also developed a burning desire to...KICK SOME BUTT!
I would be remiss to not extend my love and gratitude to God, my family and friends, and kind strangers for their prayers, physical and monetary support, and continued positivity! I thank and love you all!
Shortly after my discharge from home therapy (10 minutes after, actually), I began running again. Then I was quickly walking again. Apparently, your body doesn't like it when you try running a mile after three month off.
However, after a month of SLOW runs and walks, I ran my first 5K with my older son, Josh.
Eventually, I would find myself back in the top 10% of finishers in most of the races I entered, including setting or tying four new lifetime personal records. I also returned to the van for more Ragnar Relay fun...in style! One major running goal that I am pursuing is to qualify for the Boston Marathon within the next 10 years.
One issue that I routinely endure is the fact that skin grafts are nonporous, so those areas do not sweat when I run or work out. While it does mean I need to cool those areas down with cold showers or ice packs, I have saved a lot of money on deodorant.
Besides running, I also started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons with Josh, and we are each one kick away from earning our recommended Black Belts. I also water ski, downhill ski, rock climb, ride my road bike, and do practically everything I used to do before my hospitalization.
After a few years after my discharge, I felt compelled to use my experience to inspire and motivate others. I have been blessed enough to achieve many goals, and I would be selfish if I kept my lessons to myself.
I have spoken to multi-age groups who have sought advice and support with finding motivation and goal setting. Additionally, I have spoken to high school groups for motivational purposes, as well as to communicate my experience as a patient for those entering the medical field.
Those who seek to increase their levels of gratitude and positivity, and share the change with those around them
Those who struggle with finding motivation during the recovery phase of an illness or injury
Those who seek inspiration so they can achieve greatness on their own terms
Students who are entering the medical field and yearn to learn of my experiences as a patient and necrotizing fasciitis survivor
Perfection is overrated; going for greatness is the key to lasting success, especially when you are rebounding from a life-changing event.
Below I am speaking with high school students interested in entering the medical field. This insight offers them a glimpse into the patient side of medicine. The students especially appreciate my surgery pictures.
I have produced several short videos that I have used to express mindsets, practices, and general thoughts.
Chris DT Gordon
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Minnesota, United States
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