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Aussie dad to lose hands, feet after infections

This article is more than 12 months old

SYDNEY: An Australian man will have his hands and legs amputated after what seemed like a simple sore throat became a near-death experience.

Mr Jason Miller, 48, had developed a sore throat on the plane ride home from a family holiday in the Philippines.

As his condition worsened rapidly, the ferry operator was admitted to hospital on Oct 31 where tests revealed that he had contracted two bacterial infections, streptococcus and aerococcus.

Aerococcus is an extremely rare infection, said Ms Kate Munn, Mr Miller's sister-in-law, in a statement to Australian news website Nine.com.au

It had never been seen before by the intensive care unit specialist treating Mr Miller, who had more than 20 years of experience in the field, she added.

One infection can be deadly, but both combined had rapidly destroyed Mr Miller's immune system, she said.

Doctors were unable to confirm how he contracted the infections, according to The Daily Telegraph Australia.

Mr Miller's family was told he was suffering from severe septic shock, multiple organ failure and toxic shock syndrome, as well as gangrene.

"There simply wasn't enough blood being pushed to his extremities. His kidneys and liver had shut down. His hands, feet, nose and lips had turned black," Ms Munn said.

At one point, Mr Miller's family was told he had a less than 10 per cent chance of survival, and his seven-year-old daughter Jhayda was brought into his ward to say goodbye.

Miraculously, Mr Miller, a single father from Sydney, pulled through. After nearly a week in an induced coma, he opened his eyes on Nov 7. Three days later, he started breathing again on his own.

Doctors confirmed that Mr Miller has to have his hands and both feet amputated in a bid to stop the infection from spreading, reported The Daily Mail.

While he was still intubated, his family communicated via an alphabet board.

Mr Miller is now able to sit up in bed and laugh and joke with his family after the shock of the infection.

His family has created a crowdfunding page in an appeal to the community to rally round and raise funds for Mr Miller to help him with the costs associated with prosthetics, a wheelchair and his rehabilitation.

As of yesterday afternoon, almost A$30,000 (S$29,850) has been raised out of the A$50,000 goal. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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