July 20, 2016
For Immediate Release
SUE STULL TO CELEBRATE “HOME RUN FOR LIFE” FRIDAY WITH OKC DODGERS
CHOCTAW WOMAN’S BATTLE AGAINST SEPSIS LEADS TO QUADRUPLE AMPUTATIONS
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Dodgers and INTEGRIS Health continue the 2016 “Home Run For Life” series on Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark by recognizing Sue Stull, who endured quadruple amputations to overcome sepsis after doctors predicted she had less than a five percent chance for survival.
Sepsis, a life-threatening complication from an infection, led to her hospitalization and time in intensive care. The bleak prognosis forced doctors to encourage her family, two children and friends to say their final goodbyes. Ultimately, Stull required bilateral below-the elbow and below-the-knee amputations in order to survive the complications from the infection that had ravaged her body in the fall of 2014.
Stull recently went skydiving for the first time and completed a 5K named in her honor. She went through occupational therapy at INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Outpatient Rehabilitation to relearn basic everyday tasks with her prosthetics and continues to prove what is possible with courage, determination and hard work.
“Home Run For Life” recognizes individuals in the Oklahoma City community who have overcome a significant medical event with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals. To symbolize the end of their battle against adversity, honorees take a home run “lap” around the bases during an in-game ceremony.
“The Home Run For Life series allows us to highlight some amazing people in the local area who have prevailed against extraordinary health challenges,” OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes said. “Their determination and courage inspire us all and we are pleased to honor these individuals throughout the season with our partner INTEGRIS Health.”
Fever, chills, extreme muscle soreness and restlessness prompted Stull to visit the emergency room in August 2014. She was diagnosed with a viral infection and sent home.
Her condition continued to deteriorate and she returned to the emergency room 32 hours later. Despite excruciating pain and severe weaknesses Stull insisted on not using a wheelchair and walked into the emergency room with assistance from her husband.
That would be the last time Stull walked on her own two feet.
The emergency room doctor thought Stull was suffering from urosepsis stemming from a urinary tract infection and insisted she be transported by ambulance to an intensive care unit. There, she received broad spectrum IV antibiotics and pain killers.
The next morning, Stull had to be put on a ventilator. She had a 50 percent chance of survival. Her husband notified family and spent the next 30 hours by her side.
After three days in the intensive care unit, doctors told Stull’s family to say their final goodbyes because they anticipated her having less than a five percent chance of survival.
Stull received an IVIG treatment that quickly improved her condition. Her platelet count increased from 11,000 to over 56,000 overnight, and her condition continued to improve over the next 10 days.
However, she would ultimately need amputations of her arms and legs to survive, and underwent the life-altering surgeries in September 2014.
Stull spent 50 days in the hospital before being admitted to Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center to begin the grueling recovery process. During her 30 days at inpatient rehabilitation, Stull relearned how to do basic tasks and strengthen her body in order to utilize prosthetics and regain her independence.
“The people were just really great,” Stull said. “I was just fresh from having the amputations and I was pretty emotional. At first they didn’t know what to do with me because they didn’t have a quad-amputee. But if they didn’t know how to do something, they’d figure it out.”
Stull continues her therapy today with the use of her prosthetics at INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Outpatient Rehabilitation.
She went sky diving in August 2015 and walked a 5K on her prosthetic legs in September 2015 in the inaugural Sue Stull Sepsis 5K Fun Run/Walk. Many members of the INTEGRIS staff participated as well.
“I just don’t want this to be any more tragic then it has to be,” Stull said. “I just want to get back to the way I used to be as much as possible. It’s a challenge, but you can’t let it ruin the rest of your life. I mean, (my husband, Jay) didn’t stick by me and I didn’t fight that hard to just sit at home and curl up and be a hermit. I want other people to see that you can still do things, because at first I thought ‘I’m never going to be able to do anything.’”
To read Stull’s full story, visit okcdodgers.com.
Watch Sue Stull complete her “Home Run For Life” following the third inning of the OKC Dodgers’ Friday, July 22 game against the New Orleans Zephyrs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Interview requests for Stull, as well as INTEGRIS or Dodgers personnel can be made through the Dodgers media department. For ticket information, please call (405) 218-1000 or visit okcdodgers.com.
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