Mark A. Lowery, an attorney in Boston, Massachusetts, battled ARDS in August-September 1998 following emergency gall bladder surgery. Mark’s gall bladder became necrotic and he developed gangrene, with accompanying severe sepsis and blood infection. As with most ARDS patients, Mark almost died.
The ARDS hit Mark contemporaneously with his surgery and was confirmed by the first post-surgical x-rays. He was on the vent for 16 days, intentionally paralyzed, placed in a drug-induced coma, and placed on steroidal inhalation medication. This was the generally preferred course of battling ARDS at the time.
Mark was taken off supplemental oxygen two days later and discharged from the hospital six days after coming off the vent. He stayed in a special section of the hospital for another five days for physical therapy evaluation and additional antibiotic treatment; with blood cultures to ensure the infection had been eradicated. Post-ARDS, Mark underwent physical therapy over a period of a few months to recovery my strength and stamina.