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Back from Down Under

Cheryl and Rob Meguid with their children, Natalie and Cameron

It is with joy and gratitude that the Department of Surgery welcomes back Dr. Rob Meguid, a member of our faculty who faced a life-threatening medical emergency while on vacation in Australia this past Christmas.

When the illness struck, Rob was on Kangaroo Island (see map below) with his wife, Cheryl Meguid, DNP, and their two children, Natalie (3 years old) and Cameron (11 months). At first, Rob thought he simply had a cold. Then he woke up coughing blood. Losing sensation in his extremities, he realized he was in shock, facing an unknown biological threat.

Map showing Kangaroo Island's position off the coast of Australia  

Cheryl rushed Rob to the local hospital on Kangaroo Island. Within an hour, he was airlifted to a larger hospital in Adelaide.

As it turned out, a Streptococcus infection had led to pneumonia, which, with terrifying suddenness, led to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and septic shock. Rob, a healthy man in his early 40s, was suddenly looking a 10% chance of survival.

The next few weeks were a roller-coaster ride of setbacks and recoveries. In addition to the dedicated Australian medical professionals caring for Rob, many people rallied to the Meguids’ aid, including family, friends, and colleagues from the CU Department of Surgery. By mid-January, Rob was finally stable enough to be transported back to the U.S. on a multi-leg medical flight. He then entered the care of our team at University of Colorado Hospital.

After an additional series of challenges, each of them ultimately surmounted, Rob was finally discharged from the hospital on February 7. Having lost 35 pounds through the course of the ordeal, he still had a great deal of recovery work ahead of him, but now he could recover at home, surrounded by family and supported by friends and colleagues.

Never one to lie down in the face of obstacles, Rob set the ambitious goal of returning to clinical practice on April 2. As he returns to work this month, we couldn’t be more grateful to have him with us.

For more details of the Meguids’ story, read Todd Neff’s article in UCHealth Today.