Mystery virus attacks

A 44-YEAR-OLD Myocum man is in hospital with a life-threatening infection after he failed to get emergency care at Mullumbimby Hospital because there was no doctor.

The man, whose family have asked that he not be identified, is on intravenous antibiotics while he awaits heart surgery for an infection that caused an abscess on his brain and damaged his heart.

His sister told the Northern Star that, on Thursday, June 28, her brother left work early because he was feeling ill.

"On Friday he was complaining of extreme muscle pain in his arms and legs and not being able to properly walk due to intense pain but he thought he had a bad virus."

His situation worsened over the weekend and, at 4am on Sunday morning, July 1, he drove himself to Mullumbimby Hospital Emergency Department.

"When he arrived he was told there were no doctors available but he could stay in the waiting room until 7am when the doctor was rostered on," said Mrs Brodie.

"He stated the nurse who was on duty said he prob- ably had a virus and as such there was little they could medically do for him.

"My brother said that he couldn't sit and wait as he was so sick and desperate to lie down and returned home.

"It is unclear whether any checks were done on him by the nurse."

On Monday afternoon the family went to his home where they found him confused and delirious and called an ambulance.

"He was transported initially to Mullumbimby Hospital where he was found to have spots all over his body as well as larger black spots (necrosis) on his toes, his feet and his tongue.

"They started him on fluids and antibiotics before transferring him to intensive care at Tweed Heads Hospital where he was found to have a major infection affecting all his major organs.

"Whatever the infection was, it had got into his heart, his brain and was shutting down his kidneys."

On midday Tuesday the man was transported to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane.

Mrs Brodie said it had been confirmed that the infection that started in the heart had caused an abscess in his brain and damaged one of his heart valves.

The Northern NSW Local Health District is unable to make any comment in regard to this patient as this would breach the patient's privacy and confidentiality.