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Near-death experience makes Halstead man’s family milestones that much sweeter

Halstead, Kansan, Paul Britton, celebrated his 48th birthday this year — an event made possible he says by the grace of God and the care he received last summer from the staff in the Ascension Via Christi St. Francis MICU. 

“I was near death from respiratory failure on two occasions and they kept me alive!” says Paul, who contracted histoplasmosis, a lung infection caused by inhaling soil-related fungal spores that can be particularly dangerous to the young, elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system.

“If I had not survived I would have missed so much since last summer: The wedding of my son, the birth of my fifth grandchild, holidays and my youngest daughter's high school graduation,” says Paul, who after several months of rehab returned to work last November.

The family milestones he celebrated after his hospital stay, including his “most important birthday yet,” were made possible, he says, by the MICU staff and infectious disease specialist Margaret Hagan, MD

While he remembers little of his nearly two-month stay at St. Francis, Paul says he would not be here today “if not for my faith in God and the faith in your doctors and nurses on the 4th-floor Medical ICU.

“I love them all and I think of them as fondly as I do family.”

About Roz Hutchinson

Roz Hutchinson is a Wichita wife, mother and chief spoiler of six grandkids and three Chihuahuas, a die-hard women's basketball fan, and director of Communications and Public Relations for Ascension Via Christi.