We all know that someday we have to die. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier when we lose someone we love.
It’s particularly painful when someone passes as a result of something that should have been avoidable.
Crissy Naticchia had to bury her husband Jeff after 23 years of marriage, and the reason is truly heartbreaking. He passed away following complications that developed when he was bitten by an insect.
Crissy’s now sharing her story in the hope of raising awareness of the dangerous infection that one common critter delivered to Jeff.
Crissy posted her heartbreaking story online and begins by describing the feelings of emptiness and despair she and her family have experienced following Jeff’s passing.
“My son, now a junior in high school, has no father to teach him how to drive, to talk to him about girls, to help him choose a college – nor to see him reach all of these milestones,” Chrissy writes.
She continues: “My husband was all about his family – he did everything for us, unconditionally – which we took for granted like most people do. Now that he is not here, we feel lost and scared and alone.”
To make matters worse, Jeff had been struggling tirelessly to get in better shape before he died. Crissy describes how her late husband had put countless hours into getting healthier and losing weight.
During the course of their marriage, he had been sick but twice. But one day Jeff suddenly fell ill with a fever after being bitten by an insect. It turned out to be a tick.
Crissy soon realised something was very wrong. Jeff was sweating far more than was usual and his clothes were soaked through. Crissy had to change his bedding regularly because the sheets were so wet with sweat.
After several days he was forced to go to the emergency room.
There he was diagnosed with a kidney infection and handed antibiotics. Unfortuantely, the miss-diagnosis cost Jeff his life.
The disease took control of his body at an incredible rate. In 12 hours he went from being able to joke and laugh to lying in an ICU with machines keeping him alive.
It took two days for medical professionals to find a correct diagnosis. By the time it was delivered, it was too late.
Jeff had contracted Babesia – a tick-born illness that attacks red blood cells. It most commonly affects pets and cattle, though it can be fatal to humans as well.
In the US, cases of Babesia are reportedly on the rise. Unfortunately, the fact that Jeff was asplenic (he had no functioning spleen) meant that the disease travelled even faster around his body.
Despite a brief period where Jeff looked to be coming out of the woods, his heart eventually gave in and he passed away.
The fact remains that this was an avoidable tragedy. Crissy is now doing her best to spread awareness of the disease and ensure her husband’s death was not completely in vain.
“I lost the father of my children because he was bit by a tick and the infection that developed is not widely known. If the doctors were able to diagnose him one, two or four days earlier, might he have survived? We will never know,” she says.
It’s Crissy’s hope that with increased awareness, Babesia will be more easily treated in the future.
Learning more about diseases carried by insects could save so many lives. Who knows what might have happened had Jeff been diagnosed correctly in the first instance?
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