“It was a life changing experience. ” – Tyler Kember

“It started with a sore throat and ear infection …that’s what I thought it was. It got pretty bad. When I couldn’t keep any water down, I went to PCH Emergency – waited, had a brief exam and was sent home because it was thought to be viral,” said Tyler Kember in a spring 2019 interview. The Summerside business owner and father of three was presenting with what seemed like common cold and flu symptoms. “I went to see my family doctor on Monday and he called PCH and sent me to Emergency. There was a stretcher waiting. My doctor later told me that in another four hours I could have been dead. I was one of the sickest people he’d ever had in the medical centre.”
“My kidneys had shut down and I was septic – they didn’t really know the cause of it. If my blood hadn’t been infected – it just looked like normal stuff (the previous symptoms). By then I had a pretty big swelling on my neck. They monitored me to try to figure what it was. At first they thought it might be strep throat and they might need to do surgery. I couldn’t take the dye for scans because my kidneys were too weak.”
By Wednesday, Hospitalist Dr. John Morash became involved. He consulted with PEI medical microbiologist Dr. Greg German. They concluded that Tyler had contracted Lemierre’s Syndrome– a rare and potentially life-threatening complication of bacterial infections. It most commonly develops in association with a bacterial throat infection and can lead to life-threatening complications such as respiratory distress, damage to other affected organs, and/or septic shock.
“Once they had the diagnosis they switched antibiotics and it started to get a little better. I spent ten days in the hospital on fluids…I lost 30 pounds.” Tyler was then released and continued to receive intravenous antibiotics for several weeks using a mobile infusion pump.
“It was great to have that (pump). I would have had to stay in the hospital for those extra three weeks. It’s a long time when life’s going on around you. Being out and watching my kids play hockey…that was one of the biggest things I looked forward to when I was in bed.” The infusion pump made that possible.
“It was a life changing experience,” continued Tyler. “It’s fantastic to have the facility. We are pretty lucky. Sarah and I have had 3 children here at the Prince County Hospital and all of the pregnancies were complicated. No one wants to be in (Emergency) but the care is top notch – we are pretty fortunate, no question about it. The healthcare close to home –that’s one of the biggest reasons for staying close to Summerside. It’s a pretty good place to live, for sure.”