My name is Karon Pardue, Vice President of PSOS, and I thought that I would explain why I am so committed to cleaning our oceans and water ways. The ocean is a big part of my daily life and I spend most of time at the beach. Every day people ask me why I am not out surfing or why I’m not in the water. The reason is MRSA (pronounced MEHR-sah), which stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.
MRSA has almost taken my life several times. I have a rare form that stays in my head area, eyes, nasal and sinus passages, ears, throat, blood stream and respiratory system. Every time I think I’m ok and go out into the ocean and submerge my head in the water or anytime I get water into my eyes or nose, within 24 hours I’m at the hospital on my deathbed.
The first time I was diagnosed with MRSA was 7 years ago. I had a sinus infection and went out surfing. I woke up in the middle of the night when I could not breathe and I was soaking wet. My eyes were swollen shut and my face was swollen, black, and blue. I was terrified. I remember wondering what the heck was happening to me. I was rushed to the hospital and admitted.
I now have asthma, I’ve lost 80% of my hearing and have to wear a hearing aide in my left ear; my vision is has deteriorated in my left eye and I now have to wear glasses. They removed 2 inches of my jaw on my left side and I also had to have two teeth pulled.
Many antibiotics don't work because the MRSA is resistant to most common antibiotics. The only treatment that has been working for me is IV treatment of vancomycin which I get twice a day for 9 hours each treatment. I’m resistant and allergic to the vancomycin so I have other complications while getting the treatments. So far, it is the only antibiotic that can help fight the infection.
Some days it’s really hard just sitting on the beach and watching everyone paddle out and surf.
I did not write this for anyone to feel sorry for me, so “PLEASE DON’T.” The main reason I’m writing is I want people to know that it’s really important to help keep our beaches and ocean clean. My personal experience with MSRA is one of the reasons I care so much about being involved with Project Save Our Surf, keeping our oceans and beaches clean and educating people so that they don’t have to go through what I’ve been through. And my son is a professional surfer! I want him to be safe. One of the reasons that Tanna Frederick and Sean Tomson founded Project Save Our Surf was that they (and other people) were getting sick from surfing in the polluted ocean and wanted to do something about it. We are raising awareness, we’re educating people and more needs to be done so that our children have a safe and healthy planet to live on. I’m proud of the work we do at Project Save Our Surf.
In the hospital. They're soaking my feet to help reduce the swelling from the medication. My feet
were so sore that I couldn't put any pressure on
them or walk.
This after one week in the hospital. My left eye is still swollen shut, I can barely open the right one and my face looks like it's been beaten up..
Weeks later. My face feels and looks like it's been burned in a fire and it's very painful. I can't touch my face, smile or talk without pain.