TRAVERSE CITY — Life is increasingly difficult for Kip Taylor.
Taylor, 82, lives with her husband in a quaint A-frame home not far from Arbutus Lake. She's a retired professor who taught criminal justice classes at a variety of institutions, and she once prided herself on being as active as possible.
Everything is different now. Taylor said she received a tainted steroid injection late last summer, and she struggles with speech, motor skills and other basic tasks.
"It's damn scary," she said. "It's not something you want ... I can't walk. I can't do anything at all."
Taylor is one of hundreds of people affected — some fatally — by a batch of injectable steroids tainted with leaf fungus. Some contracted meningitis, an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation usually is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, but also can be fungal.
Leaf mold contaminated a batch of injectable steroid medication produced at a Massachusetts facility, prompting a nationwide outbreak. A shipment was sent to Neuromuscular & Rehabilitation Associates, a Garfield Township medical firm where Taylor for months had received steroid shots.
Contaminated steroid injections are suspected to have killed at least nine Michigan residents and are blamed for about 250 meningitis cases throughout the state. Authorities are investigating after a Grand Traverse County man who received one of the shots recently died.
Taylor speaks slowly and can't do much of anything without the help of her husband, Pat, though she doesn't have meningitis. Symptoms developed very slowly, and she said it wasn't until January that a doctor determined that she has a fungal infection likely caused by one of the tainted shots.
Prior to that diagnosis, she received a letter from Neuromuscular & Rehabilitation Associates that warned her that she may have been given a tainted shot. She already experienced higher-than-normal pain near the injection site, and was immediately concerned.
"I looked at that letter, and I said, 'it can't be'," she said. "It can't be me."
She spent time in the hospital, had surgery to remove tissue from her leg near the shot, and is on a regimen of anti-fungal medications. Some combination of the infection itself and side effects from the anti-fungal medications have severely limited her physical and mental abilities, she said.
"It makes me mad because I used to teach, and now I'm having problems with speech and memory," she said.
Lawsuits tied to tainted shots have begun to crop up across the region, state and nation. The Taylors said they likely will take legal action. Taylor hopes her situation improves, but the uncertainty is unnerving.
"Who knows?" she said.
Those with questions about meningitis or possible exposure should contact their health care provider.
82-year-old now struggles with motor skills, speech
TRAVERSE CITY — Life is increasingly difficult for Kip Taylor.
Budget deal would extend Medicare cuts
Munson Healthcare would have to endure an additional two years of Medicare sequester cuts under a deal unveiled by lead budget negotiators for the Senate and House.Continued ...
GT County settles 2014 budget
It took a while, but Grand Traverse County commissioners finally agreed on a 2014 budget.Continued ...
Family: Woman pocketed donations meant for funeral
Tyler Antaya’s death in a November dirt bike crash prompted an outpouring of support for his family.Continued ...
Late Blair couple bequeath $100K to TADL
Library services in Blair Township are a step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a $100,000 bequest to the Traverse Area District Library from the trust of former township leaders.Continued ...
Road conditions a factor in fatal Acme crash
It appears no amount of plowing and salting could fully combat the effect abysmally low temperatures and near-constant snow had on road conditions before a fatal two-vehicle crash in Acme Township.Continued ...
Iconic TCL&P windmill over Traverse City will come down
Traverse City Light & Power’s iconic wind turbine, a towering structure that for 17 years spun its blades and accented the M-72 skyline, is set to be a thing of the past.Continued ...
Kalkaska struggles to pay retiree health care
Charlie Shafer recently fell from a ladder, a tumble that compressed three discs in his back and damaged several nerves.Continued ...
Sheriff's dept. closes lobby — 'last resort' to homeless
For years, the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department's lobby informally served as the “last resort” for a small number of street homeless people too belligerent and drunk to stay at church shelters.Continued ...
TCAPS board praises Cousins
The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education approved a largely positive evaluation of the district’s superintendent.Continued ...
Sewer plant fix could prevent a disaster
An environmental disaster could result if local officials fail to replace at least one of eight filtering membranes at Traverse City’s waste water treatment plant.Continued ...
GT commission revisits budget
Grand Traverse County commissioners will try again to pass a 2014 budget at a committee meeting tonight.Continued ...
- Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Man dies in Acme crash
One man is dead after a multi-vehicle crash in Acme Township today.Continued ...
Internet outage hits Grand Traverse gov't offices, businesses
An Internet outage left several Traverse area Charter Communications fiber optic customers without the means to send emails, take payments, check out library books and perform the thousands of other everyday tasks now requiring online access.Continued ...
Constant snow = slick roads
The new week didn’t begin quietly in Kalkaska County, what with a new round of wintry weather.Continued ...
NMC weighs in on Amazon drone plan
Amazon’s idea to let self-guided drones deliver packages from warehouse to doorstep could make online retail soar someday, but its ambitious timeline may not fly.Continued ...
Mom drives with drugs, child
A Traverse City woman faces charges after authorities said she illegally drove a vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication with her son, 3, in the car.Continued ...
Embezzler says he sorry for crimes
A Grawn man who admitted he stole electronics from an employer said he’s sorry.Continued ...
Possible bomb a false alarm
A “suspicious device” that brought a state police bomb squad unit to a fruit processor’s facility in Grawn turned out to be no bomb at all.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 12/10/2013
Because of a reporter’s error, a Sunday article on new legislation should have said adult foster care and group homes will be able to honor “do not resuscitate wishes” of patients.Continued ...
- Monday, December 9, 2013
City to increase focus on sidewalk plowing
City commissioners buried in residents' complaints about unplowed sidewalks took little warmth from efforts to increase enforcement of snow removal requirements for property owners.Continued ...
Interlochen Wendy's robbed; man arrested
Authorities arrested an Interlochen man on suspicion of armed robbery. Michigan State Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Wendy’s restaurant in Interlochen on Sunday night.Continued ...
Interlochen Wendy's subject of armed robbery
Authorities arrested an Interlochen man, 50, on suspicion of armed robbery.Continued ...
TCAPS reviews Cousins
Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Board of Education will release their annual evaluation of the district’s superintendent during a meeting tonight.Continued ...
Touching Michigan's History
Sometimes it’s best to sit on the floor and pass around artifacts to get a feel of early Michigan history.Continued ...
- Sunday, December 8, 2013
Officials question tax-exempt status of property that houses CVB
A smoldering debate over what some locals dubbed “festival fatigue” prompted city officials to question the tax-exempt status of the downtown property that houses the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau.Continued ...
- Budget deal would extend Medicare cuts