Lebanon man was about to marry in Fla.

Source of Article:  http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-news/lebanon-man-was-about-to-marry-in-fla-256899.html

By Justin McClelland, Staff Writer 8:39 PM Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Darrell Dishon’s vacation was supposed to be a dream come true — a relaxing trip to Florida to hang out with some friends before getting married on the beach.

Instead, Dishon was soon lying in a medically-induced coma in a Panama City hospital, while family members agonized over giving doctors consent to amputate both of the Lebanon resident’s legs in order to save his life.

“It was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make,” said Dishon’s daughter, Brittany Moore. “But we knew we had to save his life.”

Dishon, 40, had contracted Vibrio vulnificus, a virulent strain of bacteria, most likely from eating raw oysters at a Panama City restaurant on July 26. As a diabetic, Dishon had a weakened immune system and was succeptible to the bacteria which caused an aggressive skin infection that was essentially eating his legs.

“It was a nightmare,” said Nicole Copas, the Lebanon woman Dishon planned to marry while in Florida.

“I don’t think anyone could imagine something like this happening.”

Dr. Judith Feinberg, an infectious disease expert at the University of Cincinnati, said the Vibrio family is responsible for 90 percent of all seafood related deaths, as well as cholera. The Vulnificus strain, the one Dishon contracted, can often cause aggressive skin infections, like the ones that cost Dishon his legs.

Because doctors had placed Dishon in a drug-induced coma to try to stem the tide of the infection, Copas and Moore had to consent on Aug. 1 to the amputation on his behalf. Dishon did not learn he had lost his legs until more than a week after the double amputation.

Copas said Dishon is starting to improve, but is still weak and remains in a Florida hospital. Copas, a nurse, has rented a condo and is in the process of transferring her job to Panama City so she can stay with him during his recovery period. Doctors estimate it will be at least two months before Dishon can return to Lebanon.

“He was in shock when he found out (his legs had been amputated), but he stayed strong,” Copas said. “He didn’t say, ‘Oh, why me.’ He accepted it. He said he’ll be OK.”



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