May 22, 2012
by Kit

By Christian John Lillis

The Worst Thing

Tuesday, April 21, 2010, was the worst day of my life. My cell startled me from half-sleep at 6:03 a.m. I was dreading this call.

“Hello.” It was my mother’s surgeon telling me that the worst had come to pass and I had to meet him at the hospital as soon as possible to authorize him to perform a subtotal colectomy on my 56-year-old mother “in an attempt to save her life.”

“I’ll be right there,” I said with tears streaming down my face. My brother came down the stairs. “Get dressed,” I said. “We have to go to the hospital. Mom didn’t improve overnight.”

At the hospital, the surgeon ran through my mother’s status. She was still septic and despite receiving huge doses of antibiotics and an experimental intravenous immunoglobin treatment overnight, her vital signs were not stabilizing and surgery was our only option.

At 36, I was confronting the very grim possibility that my mother was going to die from a bacterial infection called clostridium difficile.

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