After four amputations and intensive rehabilitation, he thought all he wanted was to get back to the life he’d had. In this seemingly insurmountable quest to regain what he’d lost, Martin would build a life infinitely more fulfilling than the one that was savagely taken from him. Scott Martin and Coryanne Hicks invite you to register to receive weekly chapter updates on Scott's book, Moving Forward in Reverse via email at www.moving-forward-in-reverse.com
Pam to Scott: How was life different when you emerged from the coma?
Scott to Pam: After one month in a coma, I awoke to total and absolute confusion. Because of atrophy, I had lost 40 pounds of muscle and was too weak to move. I was intubated with a large blue tube shoved down my throat so I couldn't speak. So much had happened while I was asleep and I was oblivious to it all.
Pam to Scott: What was your greatest physical shock at that time?
Scott to Pam: Because I couldn't move, I was not aware that my hands and portions of my feet had been amputated in order to stave off the progression of the necrotizing fasciitis that had started from the tips of my fingers and toes and was destroying my muscle and skin. Dr. Henrickson, head of the Intensive Care Unit, told about what had happened -- that I had contracted "the flesh-eating disease" -- shortly after I awoke.
Pam to Scott: What was most difficult to deal with emotionally as time went on?
Scott to Pam: The more that I learned about my time in the coma, the more I learned about what my family had experienced. The ordeal started on a Friday as I was playing a coaches soccer game while attending a youth camp near Chicago as a guest speaker for Nike. I removed myself after feeling more fatigued than I had ever felt before. After suffering through the night with alternating fever and chills and profuse vomiting, I drove myself to my mother's home 90 minutes away in Janesville, Wisconsin where she asked my step-father to take me to the hospital emergency room. After receiving fluids and being told to relax, I returned the next morning with the same symptoms. From there I fell into a coma. My mother was called the next day and told that she should contact her pastor to grant her son his last rites. That started a chain-reaction of family members taking turns in the ICU awaiting for what was expected to be my death. At one point, my mother was given the choice of "pulling the plug" or moving forward with amputations which in hopes of slowing the illness enough for antibiotics to fight the bacteria. My family remained uncertain of my fate until I awoke.
Pam to Scott: How do you deal with the challenges your medical condition faced you with?
Scott to Pam: I have been able to overcome many of my shortcomings by mastering the use of two myoelectric hands and prosthetics to walk, but I did
suffer through years of depression as my positive attitude finally gave way to
what I describe as The Fog. I do still feel deep guilt knowing what my family went through for me. I used that guilt as motivation to rebuild myself.
Pam to Scott: What ultimately led you to take responsibility for your recovery?
Scott to Pam: At the time of the illness, I was the head coach of the women's soccer program at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. My goal was to continue my way up the ladder to reach the same position at a major university and win the National Championsip. The illness occurred as I was heading into my second season at UWEC. As my rehabilitation progressed and I grew stronger, I was allowed to transfer to the hospital in Eau Claire. Each day, the players would take me to the soccer fields and help me into a wheelchair from where I would direct the goalkeepers. The next season, we reached a national top 10 ranking and I was nominated for the national coach of the year award. But I found myself unable to keep pace and slowly fell into a depression. As I fell, so did our program. Though we kept winning, my life sank lower and lower. The tipping point was a medical malpractice trial against the emergency room doctor that we believed failed to properly diagnose my true condition. Following two weeks of testimony, we lost the case and I decided to begin a plan of breaking myself down in order to build myself back up.
Pam to Scott: What was your recovery plan?
Scott to Pam: I took a job as an assistant coach at a small college in Washington State without pay and began accepting welfare, including food stamps. The head coach was well connected within the west coast soccer community, so my deal with him was that he would help me secure a position at a larger university. The head coach did contact me before the next season and helped me secure a position as assistant soccer coach at Gonzaga University, a prominent university as I had bargained.
In the meantime, I began seeking help for my depression. My psychologist sent me to a physician to prescribe medication. This was Dr. Ellen Parker. I was impressed with the questions she asked and my appointment was enjoyable. Then, two nights later, Dr. Parker called me to check on me and how I was doing. I felt this was strange and became aware of an ulterior motive. Then she asked "Would you like to meet for a coffee?" I retorted "Sure, but I don't drink coffee". To cut to the chase, we were married five months later.
Pam to Scott: Please describe your interest in adoption
Scott to Pam: Ellen and I saw a need and decided to step forward to help. We now have two children (sister and brother) from Romania and three (boy and two girls) from Ethiopia. We encourage couples to consider adoption as we have never viewed the kids as anything but our children
Pam to Scott: How did your plans change?
Scott to Pam: Marrying Ellen and adopting the kids were so totally unexpected and were never a thought when I first left Wisconsin for Washington. The head coach at my interim position contacted me before the next season to help me secure a position as assistant soccer coach at Gonzaga University, so I had set an interview to receive the position as head coach. Instead, I decided to decline and stay home to become a full-time father.
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