“A healthy and active lifestyle, faith, and a team effort is the path to recovery.”

After a staph infection turned into sepsis, Dan required high-level medical care, bringing him to NCLTAH.

On a Wednesday, Dan James, 38, had constipation. By Friday morning, Dan collapsed. He was transported to an emergency department and admitted to the hospital with sepsis.

Sepsis is an infection in the blood that affects millions of people worldwide each year. It can cause organs to shut down, blood clots, low blood pressure, and death.

Doctors found that Dan had a staph infection in 11 of his 12 major joints that led to sepsis. Dan and his doctors are still unclear on how he acquired this infection. However, staph is everywhere.

Treatment included antibiotics, multiple surgeries, countless tests, and several medications. Dan’s kidneys stopped working properly and he required dialysis. He was bedridden for three weeks in the hospital. He then transferred to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital, requiring high-level medical care. “I cannot take care of myself,” thought Dan.

Dan’s father, Rick, and mother, Ada, were there every step of the way, constantly supporting and encouraging him. “You HAVE to go through this,” Rick told him. “We will go through this one step at a time.”

Dan attributes his recovery to the care of the hospital staff and his outstanding support system of family and friends. He also expressed gratitude for every improvement, every gain. Dan’s appreciative attitude aided him in exceeding each goal he was given. While his therapy was “really hard,” Dan trusted and built a strong relationship with his therapists. He knew how to find the balance to work through the pain while being safe.

Three weeks later, despite great progress, it wasn’t yet safe for Dan to return home. Dan transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital where he participated in an aggressive physical and occupational therapy regimen. Now able to care for himself, Dan has returned home. He continued working on his recovery through the outpatient therapy program at NCRH, focusing on increasing his stamina. He chose NCRH’s outpatient program because he knew he’d continue to progress there. He also trusted that they would keep him safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As he expected, Dan continued to progress with outpatient therapy. He no longer requires a front-wheel walker, now walking without any assistive device. “I love coming to the outpatient program here because I get to see my same favorite therapists and show them how far I’ve come!”

Dan attributed his recovery to owning his therapy and the “team effort” of his family and friends. Inspired by his experience, Dan plans to attend PTA school. He is excited to help others recover like the teams at NCLTAH and NCRH have helped him.