A 21-year-old Ohio State student whose body was devastated by a horrifying attack of MRSA while he was a high school rower finally settled a long-outstanding medical negligence case against a hospital and doctors who were involved in the amputation of both of his legs.
As reported by the Columbus Dispatch, Steven "Blake" Haxton and his family reached out of court settlements with a series of doctors and the hospital at which he was initially treated just before the long running case was scheduled to reach Common Pleas Court. No financial terms of the settlement were disclosed, but the agreement finally brought an end to a long running and traumatic incident which helped launch the MRSA epidemic into the nation's consciousness.
In 2009 Haxton complained of a pain in his calf while serving as the team captain of the Upper Arlington (Ohio) High rowing team. When Haxton was brought into the emergency room, doctors diagnosed him with a serious bout of fast moving necrotizing fasciitis, a bacterial infection which essentially eats away at one's flesh and spreads underneath the skin.
Within days of the initial infection Haxton was airlifted to Ohio State Medical Center and had to undergo dual amputations that claimed both of his legs.
Incredibly, the devastating condition hardly slowed Haxton at all. Rather, the teen graduated from Upper Arlington, enrolled at Ohio State in the school's honors program months later and has since become a model student majoring in Business.
Perhaps more inspiring, Haxton has refused to leave the sport that may have unintentionally led to the infection that claimed his limbs. Though he can no longer row himself, Haxton now serves as an assistant coach for the Upper Arlington squad, helping use his own past experience to improve the skill and lot of younger rowers.
Throughout it all, Haxton has sounded a note of optimism about life, considering himself lucky to even be alive given the travails that he encountered, as a profile by Columbus network WBNS made clear.
"If you look at it like 'I'm just lucky to be here,' then every thing's upside at that point," Haxton told WBNS. "We use rowing as a tool to teach them and other things they can't learn in the classroom. Those lessons helped me get through what happened to me.
"This happened to me. But it didn't define me."
Now, at long last, the lawsuit that still connected the college student to the condition that he refused to let define him is in the past, too, all with his ever brighter future in front of him.