South Bend Meningitis Patient Relapses - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Meningitis Patient Relapses

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Jack Pavlekovich says he was a typical father until he received a tainted injection to treat his back. He says he is one of the 751 patients infected with meningitis by contaminated steroid injections in 2012. He thought his struggle with the disease was over, but his symptoms returned this February. He just got out of the hospital after recovering from pneumonia, which he says he now gets about four times a year.

"I was a police officer for 30 years and now I'm just a shell of a man," he said.

He says the hardest part of his health troubles has been the burden it has put on his family. His 15-year-old daughter, Jamie said she'll never forget one of the times she visited him in the Intensive Care Unit.

"I saw my Dad on a breathing machine, IV, hardly awake, hardly breathing, hardly moving, nurses coming in and out, and I thought he was dead," she said.

The Pavlekovichs are part of a 70 person suit against the Elkhart facility that administered the steroid injections, but Jack says he doesn't know how much money, if any, he'll receive. His lawyer did not return our calls. In the meantime, the family has had to declare bankruptcy and medical bills continue to stream in.

"There are nights where I stay up and I wonder how am I going to put food on the table. How am I going to pay for medication for my husband? How am I going to pay for medication for my girls? How am I going to get gas in the car to get the girls to and from school?" said Pavlekovichs' wife, Tammy.

Pavlekovich says doctors tell him he can expect to be ill with various diseases for the rest of his life.

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