Man struggles with disease given to him by a criminal
DENVER — More than 8,000 people across 32 states got the warning about possible exposure to HIV and hepatitis infections from a Denver-area dentist who reused dirty needles.
Now, we’re learning, at least, three of his former patients have tested positive for one of these infections.
It’s a devastating diagnosis.
One dozens of others heard three years ago after a surgical technician infected them with hepatitis c.
Crosby Powell was 71-years-old when doctors told him he contracted hepatitis c after undergoing shoulder surgery at Rose Medical Center in October 2008.
Today, he’s 74 and grateful he’s still alive.
But the diagnosis has certainly changed his life–and it’s often a struggle.
“There’s not a morning, I wake up that it’s not on my mind,” says Powell.
He can’t forget even for a moment of the deadly virus in his body that’s left him so fatigued he can hardly walk.
“There are a lot of things I did before this happened I just can’t do anymore. It’s a question of survival,” says Powell.
He’s had to give up his sole companion Molly, an Australian-Shepherd mix, because he couldn’t walk her anymore.
Nearly four, Kristen parker infected Powell and dozens of other patients by injecting herself with painkillers and putting the dirty needles back onto surgical trays.
She got 30 years in prison.
Powell got a life sentence of health issues, which he didn’t have three years ago during an interview with FOX31.
“I feel okay. I’m like everyone else I want to live as long as I can,” Powell said back then.
But today, he feels the symptoms.
He easily overheats.
He also needs oxygen.
“The long walk is what gets me,” he says as he puts oxygen tubing in his nose.
Doctors cannot treat his hep c because of his age.
All they can do is monitor it–and hope for the best.
“I can’t do anything any different. I can’t change what happened,” he says.
And he’s not angry with the surgical technician who should have helped instead of hurt him.
He’s leaving everything up to god.
“I feel if God is not ready to call you home, he’s not going to call you home,” he says.
Sadly, Powell was also recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Lauren Lollini, another victim of Kristen Parker, said treatment cleared the virus. But she doesn’t know right now if it’s damaged her liver long-term.
Both survivors want current victims to not be afraid to talk about their diagnosis, and to remember they’re not at fault and there’s no shame in what happened to them.