Kai Moser pictured shortly after surgery for sepsis (left) and four months later sporting a goatee to cover the scar. Parts of his face are numb from nerve damage.

A Fight For Life and Livelihood

By Betsy Judge

One of the less disturbing photos from Kai Moser’s gofundme page shows his post-op wound packed with gauze. It has to heal from the inside out.

“Three months ago, had you asked me what SEPSIS was, I really wouldn’t have been able to give you much of an answer other than it sounded very unclean and seemed exactly like what Lysol® was created to combat.”

This introduction to sepsis and a gut-wrenching photo of a gaping wound greets visitors to a GoFundMe page for St. Pete Beach resident Kai Moser.
It is a bizarre story that began in October for this otherwise healthy, career IT professional who is a commercial diver between computer gigs.
He was supposed to fly to Trinidad for what he calls his “dream job” as an IT consultant for a Caribbean financial firm when he woke with an extremely swollen face. He thought it was from a pimple he had tried to excise from his chin earlier.

“I was dizzy, the edge of my vision was weird, fuzzy, sort of tunnel vision, I couldn’t concentrate, and I felt like all I wanted to do was lay down; I was very fatigued. That was my body basically starting to shut things down,” he says.

He ended up in the ER at Northside Hospital. The staff called a sepsis alert and they did emergency surgery. He was there five days.

Kai injects medicine through his PICC line that ran directly into a big vein, right above his heart, via the bicep.

Shortly after his release, he noticed pain and swelling in his cheek. Thankfully a sulfate-based antibiotic his surgeon prescribed seemed to work.

When the back of his neck started feeling funny after a haircut nick, he called his surgeon’s office for a antibiotic refill, but by the time they called he was back in Northside with sepsis again. The result was two emergency surgeries (the second one to save his life) and the gaping wounds in his neck pictured on his fundraising page.

Back home, he did his own wound care (with the help of a friend) and pushed IV antibiotics, saline, and heparin into a PICC line in his bicep. His wound has to heal from the inside helped by a custom made topical antibiotic that his pharma- cist calls liquid gold.

And if almost dying didn’t kill him, the trouble he is having paying his bills might.

When he got the consultant job, he was offered three types of insurance. He read the material and opted for the most expensive one thinking it would have the best coverage. Think again.

Kai Moser pictured shortly after surgery for sepsis (left) and four months later sporting a goatee to cover the scar. Parts of his face are numb from nerve damage.

He says his daily hospital bill was about $12,000 and his insurance is only covering about $200 a day; that doesn’t take into account the sur- geries. He is appealing, but all he gets are more denials. His services for the Caribbean financial concern never re-appeared so he has no income, and his landlord wants to raise his rent. He has gotten help through a gentleman who generously offered to team with a 501(c)(3) to cover the rent, but he says he probably owes about $300,000 now.

“It freaked me out when he told me I was dying…Dying, from a lousy staph infection due to bacteria that is apparently always all around us…all the time, ready to get in via any skin opening. The fact that it could still kill me, has made me do a lot of soul searching.”

“As embarrassing as it is, I’m struggling to beat this illness physically, to pay for the medication to combat it, and afford anything else while I heal and get back on my feet.”

“I have no savings left, none. That’s what’s got me feeling more vulnerable…and I thought the insurance was supposed to cover it.”

So far he has raised $4,705 toward a goal of $250,000.

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