WARNING: This article contains photos of an amputation patient in the hospital. Viewer discretion is advised.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Gobles man was not expected to survive his bout with Strep A. He did survive but the fight left him with some challenges that he’s taking head-on and helping others while he heals.
“I’m not seeing this as a weakness. What’s a couple (of) months in a chair, as opposed to helping people for the rest of my life?” Alex Trevino, 36, said.
Coming off the hardest few months of his life, for Trevino, it’s all about looking forward.
“(People say) you just lost your legs, and I’m like, “so what?” he said.
What started as a cough in March ended up being Strep A, which turned into double pneumonia. Trevino was airlifted from a Kalamazoo hospital to Corewell Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids where he was given less than a 10% chance of survival.
“We went in in late March, and I woke up in late April,” Trevino said.
After weeks of ECMO and a ventilator, Trevino’s heart stopped and he flatlined only for his heart to start beating again.
“When he was under and on the paralytic and he was on ECMO, the strangest thing to us as his parents (were) that it was so quiet and we’ve never been in a room with Alex, where he had been that quiet,” Sylvia Trevino, his mother, said.
“By the numbers, I shouldn’t be here. Just by the percentages of everything I went through,” Alex Trevino said.
During the weeks he was unconscious, blood flow was re-routed from his extremities to his vital organs. When Trevino woke up, he learned his legs would have to be amputated.
“I had this overwhelming feeling. It was almost like lightning that hit me. First off, you can talk to a whole new group of people. You can help them … so that’s when I decided it wasn’t going to beat me, and it wasn’t going to define me. I’m still me,” Trevino said.
Anyone can see in the way he interacts with the staff at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital —Alex Trevino is anxious to start living the next chapter in his life.
“What I like to say is that this is just a dark cloud hanging over you. If you can weather that storm, there’s nothing but sunshine behind it,” he said.
Alex Trevino, a father of five, has a lot to look forward to, a that’s the message he wants to spread to anyone who will listen as he continues his recovery.
“This is not the end of the road. This is a step, hypothetical step, down a new road. Your life is not over,” he said.
Alex Trevino will be fitted with prosthetic legs soon.