Getinge paved the way for Paralympic success
When the American rower Blake Haxton finished in fourth place in the single sculls in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, his parents Steve and Heather paid an extraordinary tribute to Getinge: “Without your technology, our son wouldn’t be alive.”
The story about how Getinge’s brand promise, Passion for life, helped pave the way for high school rower Blake Haxton’s international career started in 2009 as an ordinary Saturday evening in suburban Columbus, Ohio. In the Haxton home, Blake complained of a sore calf after a high school basketball game and then went to bed.
However, what seemed to be a harmless sports injury quickly developed into something far more lethal: necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh-eating disease. Within 72 hours, Blake endured his first amputation and he would eventually lose his left leg up to the hip and his right leg to above the knee. As the infections spread, his heart, lungs, kidneys and liver began to shut down. Doctors would not even put a percentage on Blake’s survival chances.
“It was simply because they thought there was no hope,” recalls Dr. Michael Firstenberg, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Integrative Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Dr. Firstenberg, an adult cardiac surgeon, helped coordinate and manage the solutions that oxygenated Blake Haxton’s blood outside of the body after his multiple organ failure seven years ago.