Talented teen's hockey stick injury leads to super bug

2015-10-30 15:41
Jean-Luc Talbot remains upbeat despite frequent visits to the hospital. (Facebook)

Jean-Luc Talbot remains upbeat despite frequent visits to the hospital. (Facebook)

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Durban - A seemingly harmless knock with a hockey stick against his ankle during a game has plunged a Hillcrest teenager into unbearable agony.

At one stage there were even fears that Jean-Luc Talbot, 13, a keen cricket and hockey player, would lose his leg, but now he is upbeat and keen to get back on the sportsfield.

Emily Talbot, 35, from Hillcrest said her son was playing a hockey game for his school, Highbury Preparatory School at Kearsney College in Botha's Hill on September 16 when he got hit with a hockey stick on his ankle.

"It wasn’t a major thing. He told us that he sat down because it was sore, and then got up and played the remainder of the game,” she said.

Talbot said everything was fine until a few days later, when Jean-Luc complained to her husband JP about pain and discomfort when he walked. 

“When I asked him what was wrong, he told me he was hit with a hockey stick. I didn’t panic at first because I thought we could just rub it.”

Talbot said 10 days after the incident, Jean-Luc complained about the pain getting worse, so she took him to the doctor.

“They took X-rays to see what was causing the pain and the doctors said he was fine and gave him pain medication and Transact patches.”

She said the medicine seemed to work and Jean-Luc, who has earned his KZN colours in hockey and cricket, looked set to getting back on the sports field.

Pain returned

In September, the family went on holiday in Hibberdene and on the first day of the trip Jean-Luc complained of pain again.

A doctor said they had discovered what they thought was a hairline fracture, Talbot said. He was prescribed stronger medicine and his ankle placed in a moon booth.

“His condition got worse. He was in agony, he got a fever and nothing we did seemed to work. We rushed him to the Hillcrest Private hospital, where they told us his blood test showed high levels of inflammation.

“Doctors also diagnosed him with cellulitis [inflamed tissue] and staphylococcus aureus [a type of bacteria]. We were told it was a super bug and we really don’t know how he got it, it was in his blood stream. The injury triggered the inflammation, which brought the bug," she said.

Jean-Luc underwent his first surgery on September 28, to drain the infection from his ankle.

“He’s had a total of 12 surgeries and they cost well over R350 000, excluding doctors, radiology, MRI scans and blood lab bills.”

Calls for help

Talbot has now set up a Facebook page informing the public about what had happened to her son, and members of her community responded with offers of help.

 “On Thursday there was a Halloween pub quiz and all the proceeds went towards helping us to pay for Jean-Luc’s medical bill. They have also organised a golf day on Sunday.

“We really appreciate it because the financial implications are crazy. It was a random injury and we never saw this coming, it took us by complete surprise.

“At one stage there was the possibility they could amputate, but they have since reviewed this."

Talbot said she was grateful to have Jean-Luc home, but the family was struggling with the mounting medical bills.

He is currently on oral antibiotics and was receiving physiotherapy.

Durban general practitioner Dr Asif Suleman from Medicoast Surgery said: “Cellulitis is a common condition; it is under the skin and spreads infection. What probably happened in this situation is that the ankle got red and there was pus.

“Whether it was a super bug or not is debatable, but we see this all the time,” said Suleman.

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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