Ear infection leads to 18-day hospital stay

East Rockingham family funds exhausted

Staff report

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EAST ROCKINGHAM — It began with a simple ear infection.

Eighteen days later — with more than one moment wondering if he’d survive — Steve Pittman and his wife, Denise, were able to come home from the UNC-Chapel Hill hospital.

The treatment isn’t yet over for bacterial meningitis and blood stream infection.

Submitted photo What began as an ear infection turned out to be life-threatening bacteria meningitis and a bloodstream infection.

Submitted photo
What began as an ear infection turned out to be life-threatening bacteria meningitis and a bloodstream infection.

He was admitted to FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham and later transferred to Moore County, then Chapel Hill, with a temperature over 105 degrees and swelling in his brain. Pittman was in the intensive care unit for 10 days and was transferred to the university hospital because he was getting worse.

On Wednesday, though, Steve had made so much improvement that Denise was able to share “great news.”

“We are coming home tomorrow,” she shouted on her personal Facebook page — with three exclamation points. “We have never been away form home that long. Steve won’t be working and we have enough money to last maybe a month. We have placed the whole situation in God’s hands.”

Steve, a welder, had started a new job only two weeks before the ear infection set in. Pittman is a mainstay art instructor at The Hive Recreation Center in East Rockingham — a short jaunt from the couple’s East Rock home.

Steve’s treatment is far from over. He will continue intravenous antibiotics for another six weeks and surgery could be required to repair a hole in the mastoid bone.

The family has no medical insurance, but friends at The Hive and family across the country are rallying to help the Pittman family.

“When you consider the cost of the ICU, labs, CTs, medication, physician and specialists, you know there will be some huge expenses … I imagine the medical bills will begin arriving sooner than later,,” Diane Robbins Freeman, Steve’s sister-in-law, shared with an online fundraising campaign. “Life has give his family more than their share of ups and downs. Steve is married to my one and only sister, Denise. She’s the only tie I have to the family God gave me.”

In addition to the online fundraising campaign, Will and Sarah Ferguson at The Hive Recreation Center have planned a benefit Arts Abuzz — painting at an easel with light refreshments a short distance away.

The Paint for Pittmans is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 26 at The Hive Recreation Center. The cost is $35 per person. Call 910-434-8107 for more information.

 

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, Region, Rockingham

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