Our hardships began on September 29, 2011 when my husband came home one day from work bleeding from his right eye. The next day we drove him up to Salt Lake for an emergency surgery to try and save his eye. On the way up, because of the elevation change, his left eye erupted. The surgery was performed on both of his eyes. Most of his left eye was saved but his right eye lost most of its sight.
He decided to return to work, regardless of his eyesight, when the doctor cleared him for driving. A few weeks went by when on March 2012 he came home with an infected cut on his left elbow. We didn’t think much of it and just covered it with a bandage and antibiotics. However, when he woke for work the next day his whole arm was extremely swollen but he still chose to go to work that day. He came back in a lot of pain and I decided to take him to the doctor. It turns out that he had gotten it infected with a rare bacteria called Cellulites that is very hard to treat. He was given oral antibiotics and released to work.
My husband continued to work through the pain because we could not afford to go without his paycheck. Things took a turn for the worst when his whole left leg got infected and he could no longer walk on it. I rushed him to the hospital where we were informed that he had kidney failure. He was bedridden in the hospital on dialysis. We were just hoping that the hospital could cure his leg. They could not. The bacteria spread to the entire bottom half of his body, making him completely immobile. His health declined with heart failure, pneumonia, and a stroke. The stroke rendered him speechless. He was put on dialysis on emergency to save his life. Not only has this been physically hard for us, with him being in a wheelchair, but also emotionally and financially.
The unimaginable happened when the bacteria grew unstable. My husband required amputation. On November 30th, 2012 his left leg received a below the knee amputation. We were hoping that this would be the beginning of the end of our struggles. We were prepared for what was to come i.e. physical therapy and a prosthetic leg. We assumed that the bacteria could no longer spread. We were informed otherwise on December 11, 2012. The bacteria had grown unstable in his right leg as well and was amputated 4 days later on December 15, 2012. He was then released on December 17, 2012 after a two month stay at the hospital. We struggled through the following months due to his immobility. He could not move on his own and he still had not gotten his prosthetic legs. He was given his first prosthetic near the end of January 2013. Followed by his other a month later at the end of February.
We hoped that this would lead to a more stable year, but we were very wrong. The pain had not subsided and the bacteria appeared again in his hands. On May 29th, three of his fingers on this left hand were amputated. Four fingers on his right hand were amputated on June 25, 2013. My husband has been sick for more than 6 years now. I lost my job to take care of him after he lost both of this legs and seven fingers and went into end of stage renal failure. Two years ago I decided to go back to work I work part time at Cedar High, just a few months ago I was working almost 50 hours per week, but unfortunately I lost my second job. He does dialysis 3 times per week and with the medical bills piling up, we are struggling to stay above water.
We have not been able to meet any of our needs. We have good friends that help us with gas money to drive him to doctor’s appointments and food. Thank you for everything you have done and all of your help.
Hector Alfredo Cruz is 47 years old and he lives in Cedar City Utah. He has been married for 27 years to Nohemy and together they have 3 children.