Francois Trudeau and his children Silas, 7, and Xavier, 10, at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (Photo from GoFundMe)

Central Alberta father loses legs to infection

Doctors baffled by infection

A mysterious infection has forced a Penhold man to have both his legs amputated.

Doctors still don’t know what caused the severe infection in Francois Trudeau’s right leg that quickly progressed to septic shock.

“They were thinking it was flesh-eating disease to start, but they’ve run every test you can think of, swabs, biopsies. They have no idea what triggered it,” said Lesley Thomas, of Beaumont, a relative of the family.

Trudeau had no injuries, bug bites or scratches.

“Even at this point, almost three weeks later, they don’t even know what they’re dealing with. They just know the infection is starting to get better.”

She said how quickly the infection progressed was another mystery.

“He’s a really healthy guy. It was completely out of the blue. Just devastating.”

Trudeau, 51, was fine when he went to sleep on July 13 and woke up in the middle of the night from extreme pain in his leg, vomiting and diarrhea.

He was at home with his two children, Xavier, 10, and Silas, 7, and contacted his wife Susanna Shott, who was working in Halifax, N.S.

Trudeau was too sick to drive, so a relative from Ponoka took him to Innisfail Hospital. He was immediately transferred to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre because his blood pressure was dangerously low and his knee was extremely swollen.

Although he improved, the tissue on his feet continued to die due to the initial lack of blood flow. Both legs were amputated below the knee on July 24 — 11 days after he was rushed to hospital.

Thomas said Trudeau is out of the intensive care unit and his left leg is healing as expected, but his right leg, where the infection started, may require more surgery to remove tissue and bone above his knee.

His doctor was waiting until Wednesday to make the decision.

Trudeau is originally from Quebec and his wife grew up in Hardisty, Alta.

The couple has lived in Penhold for 15 years. Trudeau worked for many years at Red Deer Airport and recently got a new job, so he cannot yet receive disability benefits. Shott works in and out of the province for a pipe testing company.

Related:

GoFundMe for Red Deer teen with brain cancer raising thousands

GoFundMe account set up for large Springbrook family

Thomas started at GoFundMe account — www.gofundme.com/f/in-support-of-francois-trudeau — to help out the family. The account was created Monday to raise $40,000, and as of Tuesday, $11,270 had been donated to help with living and medical expenses.

“The response so far to it has been phenomenal. They are really blown away by it,” Thomas said.

She said word has spread to the local hockey team, Red Deer Airport, friends and relatives.

People have also come forward to help make the family’s Penhold home accessible for Trudeau.

“Every penny is going to count. I hope it keeps going because they’re going to need it.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man dies after being shot in Lacombe

A man is dead after being shot, Lacombe police say. Early Sunday,… Continue reading

One person dies in hospital after house fire erupts in Calgary

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says a person has died in… Continue reading

Jury finds former SNC-Lavalin executive Sami Bebawi guilty on all charges

MONTREAL — A former SNC-Lavalin executive on trial for fraud and corruption… Continue reading

Festival of Trees volunteers honoured at breakfast

This year’s Festival of Trees was able to provide the Red Deer… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: A masterclass on H&M knitwear

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Thursday Join us at the Senior Center Downtown House (5414 43 St.… Continue reading

Sales of electric vehicles plummet in Ontario after rebate cancellation

TORONTO — Sales of electric vehicles in Ontario have plummeted since the… Continue reading

Partway through first term, Quebec Premier Legault already planning his exit

SAN FANCISCO, United States — Political power has an expiration date for… Continue reading

Unifor announces boycott campaign against Co-op in refinery labour dispute

REGINA — The union that represents hundreds of locked-out workers at a… Continue reading

Defence minister says Canada ‘very fortunate’ to have Vance as defence chief

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has come out in support of… Continue reading

Red Deer Vipers earn wild comeback win

The Red Deer Vipers needed a comeback to top the Mountainview Colts… Continue reading

Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston captures second world title at NFR

Zeke Thurston is quickly becoming one of the most decorated saddle bronc… Continue reading

Edmonton faces Dallas, seeks to end 4-game skid

Edmonton Oilers (18-13-4, second in the Pacific Division) vs. Dallas Stars (19-11-4,… Continue reading

Most Read