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Local firefighter battling sepsis appears to be improving

Pastor and wife say Josh Woodward is opening eyes after transfusion

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Josh Woodward was hit hard with an infection that traveled to his blood, and it's been a rollercoaster ride ever since.

The 33-year-old went to St. Peter's Hospital for what he thought was a pulled muscle or the flu. But within a couple of hours, his wife, Chelsea, received a call saying he was being taken into emergency surgery for sepsis.

He underwent surgery Tuesday night for what doctors thought was a flesh eating bacteria on his arm, but doctors said there was no signs of the dangerous bacteria.

His family is now waiting on pathology reports to learn more. 

Chelsea said doctors think the sepsis may have started with a small undetected cut. She said she is grateful for all the prayers and well wishes she has received. This is Sepsis Survivors Week and a mother and daughter share their own story of recovery from sepsis with News10. 

Anya: “Does it bring all that back to you?” Kara Sour: “Yes it does when I see all her (Chelsea Woodward's) pictures. And seeing all the pictures just brings back what I have in my head.”

Kara Sour of Guilderland doesn’t have to think back too far. Nearly 2 years ago her mom was also in St. Peter’s for what doctors thought was a kidney infection.

“We brought her clothes and we were going to bring her home so it was a shock.” Says Sour.

The shock came with a diagnosis of sepsis. Her mom was in a coma for a week. Parts of her hands and feet turned purple, then black. Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming response to an infection and it can lead to organ failure and death. It can also cause tissue damage.

Her mom’s right hand, and a portion of her foot had to be amputated. Along with fingertips on her left hand and some toes.

“It didn’t make any sense to me it was just the night before that I had pain but I was perfectly healthy.” said her mom.

Her mother didn’t want to show her face, but she did want to share her story in hopes that others might understand sepsis better.

She says Josh’s story has moved her heart and she wants to encourage his wife and family.

“My heart goes out to them and I just hope they can be strong.”

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