Rick Graham, a painter who has lived and worked in Delta for well over 30 years, is fighting for his life at a hospital in Denver.
Graham contracted a flesh-eating bacteria either during a motorcycle accident this summer or as the result of a mosquito bite just days before he fell ill.
Either way, doctors told the family, Graham suffered a puncture deep enough to allow the bacteria to get in the soft tissue just below the skin. The infection spreads along the flat layers of tissue, known as fascia.
His daughter, Kristina Graham, says his chances of survival are just 10 percent and, if he lives, he'll be in the intensive care unit at the University of Colorado Medical Center for months to come.
Rick was initially treated at Delta County Memorial Hospital, then flown to St. Mary's. Four days later he was flown to Denver. The infection was so severe, doctors amputated Graham's right arm and removed other infected tissue last week. Kristina says he's facing skin grafts on the right side of his body, as well as amputation of all his toes because he lost circulation in his feet.
"He is doing as good as he can," said daughter Tabatha Lightner on her Facebook page. "He is fighting to stay alive. We will know more with the upcoming weeks."
While Kristina and Tabatha had to return home to Delta, their mother Marlena and sister Sarah are at the hospital with Rick. Kristina says monetary donations to help the family with travel expenses would be greatly appreciated. They're also facing mounting hospital bills. The flight alone from St. Mary's to CU Medical Center in Denver was $80,000, Kristina said. Rick is self-employed and does not have health insurance.
For more information, contact Kristina Graham at (970) 712-6756 or Marlena Graham at (970) 417-7477.blog comments powered by Disqus