After a three-day, 30-mile hike, he started feeling flulike signs, which continued to worsen over the subsequent 16 hours. Purple blotches appeared on his stomach, indicating blood clots. All had been signs of meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial an infection that causes swelling of the protecting membranes that cowl the mind and spinal twine.
As much as one in 5 individuals who survive meningitis might undergo amputations, deafness, and mind and kidney harm; 10 to fifteen % die, even with speedy therapy, according to the National Meningitis Association.
Springer was despatched to a hospital in Pittsfield, Mass., then was rapidly airlifted to a different in Springfield, the place his organs started to fail and his blood strain fell to virtually zero. He was given a ten % likelihood of survival.
He was transferred to a hospital in Manhattan, the place, whereas he was in a medically induced coma that might final eight weeks, he underwent the amputations.
After awakening, in line with the 2003 New York Occasions article, he informed his father: “Dad, I don’t assume I’ve any fingers. I feel I learn about my legs, too.” Mr. Springer recalled: “My spouse and I checked out one another and stated, ‘That is our new regular.’ As a result of Nick is alive. He’s nonetheless Nick.”
Springer declined to put on prosthetics or use an electrical wheelchair. And he performed wheelchair rugby relentlessly.
“At a really excessive degree, it may be actually violent, and that’s what individuals like about it,” his good friend Scott Hogsett stated. “Who doesn’t need to watch two individuals crash in wheelchairs as exhausting as you possibly can?”