Coma was life altering for Odessan

Pete Ramon poses with his Physical Therapist Assistant Kelly Naylor at the MCH Health and Wellness Center Monday afternoon. Ramon was in a coma for approximately 14 days before regaining consciousness and doing his rehabilitation. Odessa American/Mark Rogers View all 2 images in gallery.

On New Year’s Eve 2018, Ramon was drinking. A self-described alcoholic and cocaine user, he said he mixed some of his diabetic medicine with what he was drinking and poisoned himself.

He said he was talking to his sister on the phone, arguing with her when he started feeling weird. Ramon said he went to sleep and when he woke up, his back really hurt. He was drinking water and vomiting, but felt really dehydrated.

Then his hip was cramping and he said he figured out it was ketoacidosis because he had felt like that before. The Mayo Clinic website said diabetic ketoacidosis is a “serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can’t produce enough insulin.”

Ramon, who lives in Odessa and grew up in Midland, said he has been diabetic for 15 years and the disease, along with cancer, runs in his family.

A friend drove Ramon to the hospital and he kept asking for help because he was in so much pain. He recalls looking at the nurse and telling her he was going to faint.

“I woke up 15 or 14 days later,” Ramon said. “When I woke up I was really scared because I could only move this arm (his right). I couldn’t move nothing else. I was scared. I couldn’t talk either because they had all that stuff in my mouth. I was just looking around I was in and out of it. I was seeing people that weren’t there,” he said.

The doctors came and told him what happened. He said it felt as though he had just gone to sleep and woke up.

The doctors told him he got sepsis, which almost killed him. The Mayo Clinic website describes sepsis is a “potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection.”

“They didn’t know if I was going to make it. I’m glad I did, but when I woke up I was in serious pain when the Fentanyl started wearing off,” Ramon said.

He said one of his feet and one of his hands hurt because of peripheral neuropathy.

Kelly Naylor, a physical therapist assistant at Medical Center Hospital for Health and Wellness, said the peripheral nervous has sensory and motor nerves. Naylor worked with Ramon to get him up and walking again.

“When those are affected or damaged, then it affects your sensations so he had numbness and burning in his hands and feet. It also affects the motor nerves, it affects balance, motor control, coordination control, strength … and muscle control,” Naylor said.

Ramon said every doctor told him he was a miracle and wasn’t supposed to be there. He said he had to have emergency surgery because they didn’t know what was wrong with him.

They told Ramon his organs were turning dark, which meant they were dying. Doctors told him they let his family in. They gathered around him and prayed, he said, and the next day the doctors came to look at Ramon again and his organs had started turning pink.

“I made a promise to him (God) that if you just give me some kind of strength where I can make myself better, I would never drink or do drugs ever again, or smoke cigarettes. I’m off all three of them,” Ramon said.

Ramon had been a cook at the Odessa Country Club. His boss, Ryan George brought him spiritual books and helped him out of his depression. He added that Naylor and CrossRoads Fellowship also helped him.

He was released from the hospital on Valentine’s Day last year. Although he had wanted to go home, Ramon said he was scared, depressed and weak because of weight loss. He called George who took him to work and said he could just talk to people.

“That cheered me up. He took me to his office and we prayed together,” Ramon said.

After the prayer, “honestly, it felt like something lifted off my shoulders and I sat up straight. I had a feeling of happiness and not being sad anymore,” he said.

That made him all the more determined to get better, do his exercises at home and go back to physical therapy.

One of his friends told him Naylor was a good physical therapist assistant.

Ramon saw Naylor, another physical therapist and an occupational therapist for about six months. Naylor said Ramon was discharged a few weeks ago.

Ramon said he comes back sometimes to work out in the gym.

“She put it on me all through that time. Whatever she asked for, I did. It was painful and I owe her a lot. She helped me. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be walking today. I would still be on the walker, or the cane. Everything she told me, I did,” Ramon said.

With the help of Naylor and the other therapists, Naylor said he started feeling normal again. He said sometimes people would laugh at him and call him a cripple because of the way he was walking, but he tried not to let it get to him.

Ramon now has leg braces, but his foot doctor said he may give him ankle braces. He also takes medication for his neuropathy, which makes it almost non-existent. But sometimes he still feels zaps. He also takes Chantix to quit smoking.

He still has numbness in his feet and is getting most of the feeling back in his hand.

Ramon is not married, but has a son who graduated in Seminole last year.

He wanted to be able to walk over and hug his son and tell him he was proud and Ramon said he was able to do that.

At the Odessa Country Club, Ramon was a cook, but fears that he was going to fall and burn himself led to him being placed him in the men’s locker room where he provides towels and keeps up with the toiletries. He said he also shines and cleans golf shoes.

“They give me tips, but I still get paid hourly. I think that’s where I’m going to stay at,” Ramon said.

Naylor said Ramon has definitely made a lot of progress.

“And like he was saying, he’s very motivated. That was the key component was his motivation,” Naylor said.

She added that once he started exercising at home, that made a difference.

“You can come here two or three times a week, but if you don’t do anything at home you’re not going to get as much benefit,” Naylor said. Posted in Local News , Lifestyle on Thursday, January 24, 2019 2:45 pm. | Tags: Pete Ramon , Kelly Naylor , Physical Therapist And An Occupational Therapist , Diabetic Ketoacidosis , Vomiting , Pain , Mayo Clinic , Walker , Or The Cane , Good Physical Therapist Assistant , Depression , Sepsis , Physical Therapy , Surgery , Infection , Numbness , Odessa Country Club , Ryan George , Medical Center Hospital For Health And Wellness , Cocaine User , New Year’s Day , Coma , Odessa , Cancer , Disease , Nurse , Diabetic Coma , Diabetes , Physical Therapist Assistant , Medical Center Hospital , Peripheral Neuropathy

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