|Daniel Johannes Rossinger|
|July 22, 1968 - March 30, 2007|
husband, Daniel, sadly passed away the 30th March 2007. We have been married
for 12 wonderful years and we have two wonderful children, Heinrich, age
9 and Carina, age 8. We live in Pretoria, South Africa. This is his story:
Daniel woke up on Wednesday, 21 February 2007 with pain over the kidneys. He went to work but by lunchtime had fever and felt really bad. He left work and came home, I gave him some painkillers. This seemed to help a lot and by the evening he was much better. The fever started again in the night and he took some more painkillers which did help. He stayed home the Thursday but the fever came back every four hours. I wanted to take him to a doctor but he said he probably had the flue or something not so serious. At seven that night, the kids were put to bed. He was still in bed feeling very ill with fever, sweating and the next minute very cold. While trying to get up he fainted. In the process he broke his nose. He took a shower but fainted again after that. That was it. I took him to the emergency care unit of our nearest hospital. He was admitted after some blood tests which showed some infection but no one knew where it was. They gave him antibiotics and by Friday afternoon he was so much better. On Sunday he could go home, blood tests were normal and he was only feeling weak. On Monday he’s arm where the IV was admitted started to swell and was very painful. I thought it was because of the IV and gave him painkillers again. By Friday the arm was so bad you couldn’t touch it and he could hardly drive or do anything with the arm. At that point I made an appointment with my homeopath. He diagnosed Cellulites and gave him medication which helped immediately. He felt much better within the next few days and by the next Wednesday the arm was fine. He was, (when I look back at that time) very tired, didn’t eat well and was generally very irritated with everything. But we all thought he was ill, he was in hospital and he had strong antibiotics so it would take a while for the body to recuperate. But the worst was still to come.
We went camping with the kids and the youth movement we belong to on the weekend of 23 March 2007. On Sunday the 25th he woke up with the same pain over the kidneys and took some painkillers. By late the evening the fever started again and I was very worried at that point. We were in the bush with only a GP as a camp doctor and it was very late to be even thinking to drive back to the city on those dirt roads. The painkillers seem to help and he was feeling ok the Monday, though at 3 the afternoon the fever was very high and he couldn’t move his left shoulder. I thought that maybe he slept badly on the little mattress we used in the tent and told him we should leave if he thought we needed to see a doctor. He said he’ll be ok. Later the afternoon the fever was very bad again and he collapsed again. The fever then stayed away until the next day when we were already on our way home. I made the appointment with our GP and we went straight there from the camp. The fever was very high and he was shivering with cold and the next minute burning up. He looked very ill to me, and the shoulder hurt real bad. She took some blood, sent it away for emergency testing and we went home. He looked really tired and wanted a steak for supper but returning from a camp we did not really have any food in the house and we settled for some takeaway chicken. I so wished we had gone for the steak as this was his last real meal. The test results all came back negatively for all sorts of illnesses, Malaria, Tick bite fever etc. He was admitted to hospital the next morning and was in for every sort of scan and test available to us in South Africa. Nothing showed anything wrong. He was in so much pain with no outer signs of anything wrong. I was so desperate I didn’t know what to do. The doctors all were wonderful and tried their best but were not familiar with what was wrong. He was given antibiotics and that seemed to clear the infection in his shoulder, but it just moved to the upper right leg. By ten the evening of the 29th March (our daughters 8th birthday) I left the hospital. I couldn’t sit there anymore watching the pain destroying him. No painkiller did make a difference. I was wondering what on earth could be wrong with him, so much pain but so little evidence. The doctor said he was young, strong and that it is only a matter of time till the blood cultures will reveal what the problem is. Time was what we didn’t have. He was admitted to ICU three hours after I left at ten. I was called in, and what I saw gave me nightmares and I still have them today. He couldn’t breath, his body around the upper legs and pelvis and buttocks were black and blistering. His blood pressure was so low. And three hours before there was no outer evidence of anything. He was going for a CAT scan at that point and I could talk to him for a bit. He was very ill and I did not know what to think or what to expect. The scan showed a white area in the upper leg and buttocks and gave the idea of myositis and was moving rapidly. A team of doctors were at his bedside and at that point they suspected some form of bacterial infection. They wanted to operate as soon as possible to remove the dead muscle in his upper leg. He was very confused by that time and on oxygen. He had a few clear moments just before the operation and he told me vital things I needed to know about his work, salary, people to contact and so on. I just thought yes, yes I hear you but do not try and talk now, we can talk later. If only we talked a bit more. But he took my hand and said he loved me and I must look well after the kids. Then he was rushed off to the theatre. Dying was not even an option at that point. I was so scared that he might loose the leg or that he would never walk again. I had no idea that something so bad existed and that he could die of it. The operation took 3 hours and I could see him afterwards. He was sedated and I do not know if he knew I was there, but he wasn’t in any pain anymore. His breathing was controlled by machines, heart and kidneys too. His temperature was normal and he looked so peaceful. I sat with him till 11 that morning. When I left to have a cup of tea he went into shock and he died of renal failure. He was only 38 years old. I thought to myself that the doctors fixed people who came out of car crashes, how was it possible that they couldn’t do anything for him? The doctors explained to me afterwards that the muscle they took out was like liver, there was no muscle left, there was no diaphragm left for breathing and that the muscles supporting his back were all gone. He was scheduled for amputation of both legs in the hips that evening if he did survive the day. I cannot picture him strapped in a wheelchair with no legs and a ventilator to breath but on the other hand my life is so empty without him. It was only the next day the blood cultures returned we knew that he died of a bacterial infection caused by Strep A. He had necrotizing myositis is it’s worst form. What a terrible disease and what a terrible way to die.
Daniel, I will always have your love in my heart and the wonderful memories we shared. The kids and I miss you every day!
Pretoria, South Africa
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December 16, 2007