Lomita man ‘happy to be alive’ after surviving deadly infection

By Melissa Evans Staff Writer
Posted: 09/07/2010 07:15:47 PM PDT
Tom Dukes nearly died last winter after contracting an E. Coli infection in which he endured two surgeries and spent months in the hospital. He has since become the face of the widespread and growing problem of “superbugs”. (Scott Varley / Staff Photographer)
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The symptoms were at first familiar: Extreme pain in the side and back, abdominal cramps and overall body aches. Tom Dukes, 52, had sweated out the symptoms of his diverticulitis before, and thought he could make it a few days through the weekend before seeing his doctor for a simple antibiotic that Monday.
“I didn’t realize that in a few hours I’d be laying on a hospital bed saying goodbye to my family and friends,” the longtime Lomita resident said. “It was all pretty scary.”
Dukes did, in fact, have another bout of diverticulitis, an inflammation of the digestive track that this time had perforated his colon. He would need surgery. Continue reading

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