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A Trip to the ER, a Rare Diagnosis and a Wedding Saved

By |2023-10-11T11:38:16-04:00October 10th, 2023|Categories: Health A-Z|Tags: |

Four days before his wedding to Melissa Cooper, Kevin McKenzie, 32, completed a workout. A few days later, his muscles felt sore and stiff, making it difficult to walk. He used a massage gun on his sore muscles to ease the pain. When he saw blood in his urine an hour later, he knew he needed to seek emergency care.

In CentraState’s Emergency Department, Kevin’s medical team found that he had high levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK), an enzyme in the muscles, brain and heart. Doctors diagnosed him with severe rhabdomyolysis, a rare condition that occurs when muscles break down and release CPK into the bloodstream.

“Because Kevin was dehydrated from exercising, his muscles began to break down,” explains internist Ayesha Chaudhary, MD. “When CPK levels stay this high, it can lead to kidney failure.”

Where There’s a Will, There Will Be a Wedding

Kevin, a Howell resident, was admitted to CentraState, and his doctors worked to rehydrate his body to bring down the CPK level. Nephrologist Mohammad Zafar, MD, prescribed IV fluids and monitored Kevin’s liver and kidney function. Unfortunately, this meant that Kevin couldn’t leave to attend his wedding. He and Melissa were devastated.

But Kevin’s nurses weren’t deterred. They called the Volunteer Services team, who arranged for the couple to have their ceremony in CentraState’s chapel with their parents. After the ceremony, Melissa joined the rest of their family and friends at the reception, with Kevin participating via FaceTime.

“Being able to get married on the day we were scheduled to and have our parents there made what we went through a little easier to take,” Melissa says. “We got to do the only thing that truly mattered on our wedding day, and that was saying ‘I do.’”

“Even though it was his big day, Kevin took our medical advice seriously,” Dr. Chaudhary says. Four days after his wedding, he was back home.

“This diagnosis was a reminder that I need to listen to my body,” Kevin says. “Being in the hospital on my wedding day was disappointing, but the entire situation hammered home what truly matters. Marrying your other half is the most important thing, and we were blessed that CentraState could make that happen for us.”

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