By T.R.P. DuttaA mountain-side dermatologist is credited with saving the life of a 23-year-old woman who had been in a coma for three weeks after contracting the disease from a tick bite.
Dr. G.R., a dermatologist at the Mountaineers Hospital, helped treat the woman’s condition after a patient with the same illness, whom she had treated with drugs and antibiotics, developed severe respiratory complications.
The woman had to be placed in a medically induced coma for four weeks before she recovered.
“I was able to save her life,” Dr. G said.
“The patient was brought in and put into a medically-induced coma with no drugs or antibiotics.”
The woman’s father had been complaining of chest pain, and Dr. C had prescribed steroids.
But Dr. K, a resident physician at Mountaineer Hospital, said that she and her husband had been given no indication that steroids were necessary.
They went to the local pharmacy to buy the drug.
They ordered a generic version of the drug, but the pharmacy’s pharmacist told them it was not an option.
A month later, Dr. R took the patient’s blood pressure, blood pressure cuff and electrocardiogram, which indicated that her heart rate had increased significantly.
“She was in a critical condition,” Dr R said.
After she recovered, she went home and was admitted to the Mountainers Hospital for a month to be monitored.
On July 11, she was discharged.
A week later, she returned to Mountaineering Hospital.
On Aug. 1, she tested positive for Lyme disease, and a blood test showed Lyme disease.
Dr. J sent the patient home and gave her a blood sample.
The test showed the presence of Lyme disease in her blood, and she was put into an induced coma.
“A month later we were told she was stable,” Dr J said.
On Sept. 3, the patient returned home.
On Sept. 5, she gave a blood transfusion to a person in the hospital who tested positive.
She tested positive again on Sept. 12.
The hospital had to release her from her induced coma because her liver was failing.
“It took a while to get her back home,” Dr G said, “but the patient had a lot of blood.
The infection is still there.”
On Oct. 2, she had a blood clot test.
The clot test indicated the presence, and the patient was placed into an acute-care unit.
On Oct. 8, she received her first dose of the antibiotic rifampin.
Dr J and Dr R returned from the hospital to her home and checked on her, but she was not responding.
Dr G rushed to her hospital bedside and administered the second dose of rifapin.
She had an overnight stay at Mountainer Hospital and was transferred to a specialized unit for Lyme treatment on Nov. 8.
Dr A, who had taken the patient to Mountain Medical Center for an acute Lyme test two weeks earlier, went home to her parents’ home in Park Avenue, a few miles from the Mountains Hospital.
She was discharged on Dec. 2.
The woman, who was diagnosed with Lyme disease two weeks after her last blood test, is recovering well, Dr J recalled.
“There’s a lot that’s been taken away from her.”
On Dec. 12, Dr A went back to the hospital.
“On my way home,” she said, Dr B asked her, “Where is your wife?”
Dr A said, No.
“Do you think that she’s going to recover?”
Dr B replied, No, but I’ll give you one thing: We’re going to see her again, and we’re going have fun with her.