Friday, January 6, 2012

Marco Antonio Fuentes, illegal immigrant, to go home today after more than year at Fresno hospital and 12 free surgeries (Still, glad he's better)

Doctors say Marco Antonio Fuentes is well enough to go home today.

At last.

Fuentes has spent 374 days at Community Regional Medical Center, the longest uninterrupted stay by a patient at the Fresno acute-care hospital, according to staff recollection.

"God has helped me to make it in here and to make it out of here," Fuentes said softly from the edge of his hospital bed Tuesday.

Doctors struggled to keep him alive since Fuentes was admitted to the hospital Dec. 26, 2010, with an excruciating belly ache.
Fuentes' abdomen was full of infection. Surgeons could do little that first day but drain the abscesses and sew him up, said physician assistant Neydi Salaverri-Edmonds.

Necrotizing pancreatitis, an infection of the pancreas, had eaten away tissues, including his intestines, she said.

Doctors suspect Fuentes, 35, had gallstones that developed into a gallbladder infection, which was left untreated and progressed.

The average length of hospital stay for uncomplicated pancreatitis is about two weeks, with a complicated case taking as many as 45 to 65 days, according to the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.

But Fuentes' case was far from uncomplicated. more