E-Coli Has A Heartland Man Fighting For His Life

E-Coli Has A Heartland Man Fighting For His Life
By:  Tiffany Sission
Cape Girardeau, MO - A Dexter man is wondering how a simple salad turned into a difficult diagnosis. Bill Hutchen had spinach for dinner nearly a month ago. Hutchen ate the spinach before the warning came out, but, that was 3 days too late. Now, he's fighting to overcome the effects of that meal, facing an E-Coli emergency.
Hutchen's a veteran and a retired police officer. He's not afraid to fight! But, this battle with E.coli is like none other. "I was very healthy. Everything's hard, everything," said Hutchen as he fought back tears.
Hutchen's life has been hard since September 8th after eating a simple salad. "A couple of hours, bam, I went down," explained Hutchen.
Hutchen said a 79 cent bag of spinach is to blame, "I don't think, I know! That's the only thing I had to eat. That's the only thing I had."
Hutchen started developing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, watery first, then very bloody, nausea and vomiting. He lost 39 pounds in one week. "Let's put it this way, before this hospital here and before the doctors took over, I would not have made it! I would have died," explained Hutchen.
In his 20 years as an E.R. Physician, Dr. Charles Pancoast has encountered only 10 cases of E. coli as severe as Hutchen's. "The real problem is with E. coli is, besides the diarrhea, we can do supportive therapy and keep them comfortable. Sometimes they will develop hemolytic uremic syndrome where they're kidneys shut down and their blood starts breaking down," explained Pancoast.
Hutchen is on dialysis, and his white count is low, forcing him to rely on chemotherapy. "Unfortunately, chemotherapy patients they're prone to infection, including E. coli. It's just a lot more serious for them cause their immune system can't help them fight it," said Pancoast.
Try telling that to Bill Hutchen. "Fight! I'm not gonna give up," exclaimed Hutchen.