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 could endure amputations, deafness, and mind and kidney injury; 10 to fifteen % die, even with speedy therapy, in keeping with the Nationwide Meningitis Affiliation.
Springer was despatched to a hospital in Pittsfield, Mass., then was shortly airlifted to a different in Springfield, the place his organs started to fail and his blood stress fell to nearly zero. He was given a ten % probability of survival.
He was transferred to a hospital in Manhattan, the place, whereas he was in a medically induced coma that will final eight weeks, he underwent the amputations.
After awakening, in keeping with the 2003 New York Occasions article, he informed his father: “Dad, I don’t assume I’ve any fingers. I believe I find out about my legs, too.” Mr. Springer recalled: “My spouse and I checked out one another and mentioned, ‘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 folks like about it,” his good friend Scott Hogsett mentioned. “Who doesn’t wish to watch two folks crash in wheelchairs as laborious as you possibly can?”