GW Hospital Patient Testimonial – Jonathan Koch

I’m a television producer. I have been
for almost 20 years now. We had a big television producers conference here. By the time I got to DC I was already a little sick. I had gone to a hospital in Los Angeles that morning. They said everything was fine and I got on the plane and flew to DC. When I got here I went to sleep hoping I could sleep it off and the next morning is when I started to realize I couldn’t sleep it off and I should probably get somewhere. I walked out the front door, I
asked the cab driver to take me to the closest hospital, which luckily happened
to be GW. Jonathan was in bad shape. This was a very sudden event so we were
thinking about it like some very aggressive forms of infection. We had a conversation that kind of went, “how sick am I, how sick can I get, can I get so sick I can die?” It was literally like, “yes you can.” Every organ in his body in 24 hours went on to almost complete failure. Everything that as you talked about with him was just further declining. What you hate is that you can’t put your finger on as to why. The first person really to suggest the diagnosis was an internal medicine resident. He had just suggested, “you know, what if this guy has HLH?” The treatment, of course, is completely different. Instead of trying to augment the body’s immune response, the treatment for HLH is to do the opposite because HLH is really the body turning on itself. At that point we felt he was going to survive, but there was a price to be paid for how sick he was. He was having a lot of problems with the blood supply to his hands and feet so his skin and tissues of his fingers and his toes were necrotic gangrenous. We really worked hard during those first few weeks to try and focus on salvaging what tissue could be saved. The first thing on my mind when I came out of sedation was, I want to marry Jennifer. One of the first things he did was he
asked me to marry him. It was amazing and emotional for both of us. My team had gotten to the point where they knew that I wasn’t dying anymore and my
need for trauma care was probably less but I did understand that this was my
team and I really didn’t want to leave. I do feel like Jonathan flying from our
home in LA to DC and coming to GW Hospital saved his life because of the
amazing team that you guys have at GW. Without those doctors I don’t know if
he would have survived. Something about this team and how we all worked together made it possible for us to succeed and my feeling is that I wouldn’t be here if
it weren’t for GW. You know it’s always great to have a success story like this. He’s very proud of the care that he got here at GW and the team that rallied together to take care of him at all hours of the night and day. I think it is important for the staff and for us to see a good thing come from what looks to be a horrible situation. It just makes you feel like this is why you
come to work every day. You are all so amazing. Thank you for everything. Thank you for saving my husband’s life. Thank you so much, just for everything. There are a lot of doctors
here that were involved in my care and there’s not a single one of them that I
don’t have in my heart. Premium

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