Three weeks after battling with a superbug infection, New York Giant's Daniel Fells is doing so well he may not have to lose his foot after all.
Last Oct. 2, Fells was rushed to the hospital, complaining of high fever. Doctors were able to determine that he contracted a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection on his ankle.
Fells had been admitted under intensive care to manage his infection, though doctors once feared that an amputation may be necessary if the infection progressed too far.
Thankfully, the football team's tight end is on the long road to recovery after undergoing seven out of several more planned surgeries. Even better, surgeons are now positive they can save Fells' foot.
Past surgeries have kept the MRSA infection under control. Future operations will still be done to clean out the affected foot and to make sure that the infection will not return. Plastic surgery will also be performed to repair the damage caused by the infection.
The chances of returning to the field still appear bleak, but for now, sources said that Fell's focus is on recovering from his illness.
"(He was) doing much better," teammate and Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich said last Friday. He and his teammates, their coaches and front office executives have visited Fells during his admission. The Giants also dedicated their victory last Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers to their hospitalized teammate.
Fells' agent Ron Slavin said that the football player hopes to be discharged by the end of the week, adding that the past several days have been a challenge.
"[T]he last 17 days have been a roller coaster for [Fells] emotionally," Slavin said.
The Giants lost against the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night, while Fells remains on season-ending injured reserve. Once his surgeries are finished and he is discharged, he will still need the help of a nurse and physical therapies for the long road of rehabilitation ahead.
As for the Giants, the team had seen to educating its players on MRSA infection and improving facility hygiene to prevent a repeat incident.
MRSA infection is caused by a highly resistant strain of S. aureus bacteria. While most MRSA infections are typically nosocomial, or hospital acquired, some infections are community-associated, or acquired from people who frequent crowded areas. The affected area will appear swollen, warm, may be draining with pus and accompanied by high fever.
MRSA infections can turn life-threatening once the infection descends further into the body, spreading to bones, joints, heart and lungs. Surgery and effective antibiotics as needed are used to treat MRSA infections.