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Shane Dudoit's survival saga
April 25, 2013 - Robert Collias
There have been very few stories that I have written in a 30-year career where I have applauded the outcome, but this is one.
I covered the Molokai-St. Anthony baseball game Thursday afternoon and the following story was the talk on everybody's minds.
I talked to Barry Helle, the radio voice of the MIL, on the phone earlier in the afternoon and he said this saga brought tears to his eyes. Helle also said that Shane Dudoit is near, if not at the top, of the list of just plain great people in Maui sports. I could not agree more.
Here is the start of my story that ran in this morning's paper:
As a standout athlete and coach, Shane Dudoit has faced do-or-die situations on the field.
Reality, however, intervened with an actual life-or-death scenario last month.
The 41-year-old Dudoit, an assistant baseball coach at Baldwin High School and a Maui County firefighter, has a 3-inch surgical scar on his neck to prove it.
Dudoit said he was "within a minute or so of me living or me passing" from a severe infection in his throat complicated by a flesh-eating bacteria that led to him being placed in a medically induced coma for five days last month.
On March 12, he went to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room with "some difficulty breathing," Dudoit said before Baldwin's practice Tuesday.
A procedure was performed to clean out what doctors thought was an abscess, but three days later Dudoit was having trouble breathing again. He went to the Kahului fire station to get some oxygen, but was back in the emergency room again that afternoon.
"Dr. (Alan) Song, who is an angel, came to look at it and said, 'OK, we need to get you into surgery.' Basically he told my wife, 'It will be a 45-minute surgery, we have to check out the abscess,' see if they could clean some stuff out," Dudoit said.
"Two and a half hours later I came out of surgery. They had to intubate me, put a tube in because of the swelling in my throat. Basically they said they were within a minute or so of me living or me passing. Because of the swelling they were able to get the tube in, finally, after multiple times trying. They put me in medical coma, intubated, and had the machine breathe for me."
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