Flesh-eating bacteria nearly killed Alex Smith
On November 18, 2018, not only the career, but also the life of quarterback Alex Smith changed.
THE VIDEO OF THE INJURY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GojX4NSMv4s
The Washington Redskins player suffered a severe right leg injury in the third quarter of the game against the Houston Texans. Multiple operations were required to save the watch leg.
Alex Smith's wife, Elizabeth, told ESPN how everything has gone since that injury.
She remembers how the hours that followed the injury were painful. Doctors weren't able to identify exactly what made the quarter feel so bad. Her fever was at an alarming level and her blood pressure dropped dramatically. Elizabeth remembers that they simply told her, "We are trying to find the root of the problem".
The Thursday following the accident, which happened to be American Thanksgiving, Dr. Steve Malekzadeh entered the room with an intuition. He removed the bandage from his patient's right leg to realize that it was turning black, which was not the case just a few hours ago. So the infection was in his leg . Once back in the operating room, the doctors then realized that there had been "colonization of the bacteria in its soft tissue" or necrotizing fasciitis, as was reported to Elizabeth shortly after. The latter then remembers exactly the wish of the doctors involved.
“First of all, our number one priority is to save his life. Then let's do our best to save his leg. No matter after that, it will be a miracle. "
The moment seemed so far away when the first operation to repair his leg was going well and did not suggest such a nightmarish scenario.
Elizabeth remembers that the doctors operated on her husband every day to remove the infected portions. A resident was responsible for recording the progress of the infection on the right leg of the watch every night so that he could know when to bring him back to the operating table.
In the end, the infection did not spread above the knee and Alex Smith's leg was saved. However, not everything that has been removed from the leg suggests a former NFL player. She clarified that her husband did not want to look at his leg at this time.
The doctors then outlined the options available to Alex. There was amputation, grafting from a muscle in his shoulder. The latter immediately refused as he needed to launch. It was his first reflex. Finally, even if the surgery did not guarantee success, the doctors agreed to tap into the quadriceps of his left leg.
Alex Smith finally left the hospital two weeks before Christmas in a wheelchair.
Then began the process of rehabilitation. It could be five to six times a week, and some evenings Elizabeth remembers that her husband wanted to go to the team's training center to work on his upper body.
Alex Smith eventually needed 17 surgeries and visited four different hospitals in nine months. Elizabeth maintains that she will support Alex regardless of her decision, her wish, and if her current motivation is to aim for a return to the game, she will be by her side.
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