New York Firefighter Pulls Off Miracle Recovery Battling Near-Fatal Sepsis

Tiffany Meier
By Tiffany Meier
February 24, 2019Healthshare
New York Firefighter Pulls Off Miracle Recovery Battling Near-Fatal Sepsis
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firefighters work to contain a building fire that went to six alarms in Brooklyn, New York city on Jan. 31, 2015. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Against all odds, a New York firefighter has just pulled off a miracle recovery after battling sepsis for the last two weeks, according to a new report.

It all began on a night in early February when 33-year-old firefighter and father of two, Josh Woodward, was out on a weekly date night with his wife, Chelsea Woodward, according to the New York Post.

However, their date was cut short when Woodward turned to his wife and told her he thought he’d pulled a muscle in his arm.

Two days later, he was in the emergency room with sepsis. He was given a five percent chance of survival by the doctors as the infection had spread from his arm to his chest. On top of that, he had a heart attack and his kidneys were failing.

What is Sepsis?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), sepsis “is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency.”

The body usually releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. But sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes throughout the body. “Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.”

Sepsis is usually triggered by infection and can happen to anyone.

According to the CDC, “1 in 3 people who die in a hospital have sepsis.”

Two weeks ago today, right around this time was the most terrifying, heart wrenching, night of my life. To paint a…

Woodward Strong 发布于 2019年2月22日周五

The Miracle Recovery

Two weeks later, after huge outpouring of support from his community and strangers online following his fight to survive, Woodward has beaten the odds and made it into that 5 percent.

“As of yesterday, his blood work came back free of sepsis,” his wife told The Post. “The doctors are throwing around the word ‘miracle.'”

This was in sharp contrast to when Woodward “coughed strep directly into his blood,” his wife said.

Woodward had unknowingly been carrying a Streptococcus bacterial infection in his throat, which he coughed into a “small laceration in his shoulder” resulting in the infection.

“He did one of those vampire coughs in his arm,” she explained.

Now, the doctors no longer anticipate any further problems, his wife continued. Only a few days earlier, the doctors had seemed certain Woodward would lose his arm, if not his life.

I've been writing and deleting and writing and deleting..I can't find the words. What do you say after a night like…

Woodward Strong 发布于 2019年2月13日周三

While “there’s a couple fingers” that may need amputation still, his wife said that is “small change” compared to the loss of his life.

Even though he’s beaten sepsis, Woodward still has a long road to recovery and will likely stay in the hospital for at least another two weeks.

“It’s given me an entirely different perspective,” his wife said. “It seems weird to say—but I’m grateful for the experience.”

His wife admitted she’s exhausted but feels uplifted by all the love she’s witnessed.

Support from Firefighter Community and More

Woodward’s firefighter community has been a major source of support during his health scare, plowing the Woodwards’ driveway when it snowed, picking up their mail, handling paperwork, and keeping a representative with the family at the hospital 24/7 since the very first day.

Selkirk Fire Department 发布于 2019年2月23日周六

“They made sure we never had to worry about a meal,” Woodward’s wife said.

Almost 70,000 people have been following the Woodward Strong Facebook page she set up for him.

“Any time that I am personally feeling anxious, I just scroll through the comments and am amazed at all the people sending love to me and my family,” she said.

I went to therapy this morning. I’m all about that mental health game. I already talked to him about what hospital…

Woodward Strong 发布于 2019年2月21日周四

She was excited to share the messages of love and support with her husband.

“I don’t think he believes me,” she said. “I keep trying to tell him the numbers and he shakes his head and rolls his eyes.”

Aside from the comments of love and support, nearly $100,000 has been raised via GoFundMe and companies are selling #WoodwardStrong merchandise, donating the proceeds to help cover Woodward’s medical expenses.

Here is the link for all of those who asked:

Woodward Strong 发布于 2019年2月13日周三

Once he makes a full recovery, his wife is ready for a redo of that date night.

“As long as we are here hand in hand,” she said, “this is going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to us.”

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