Two weeks before his sudden death (June 10), he had incurred some bite on his wrist (after working in the garden moving a shed around). This was followed by some poison sumac reddening just below it. He did not notice the bite until the next day. The reddening of the arm also increased and swelling and oozing occurred, spreading down his arm to the elbow. Also swelling at the elbow occurred. At the ER, they gave him a shot of clindamycin, and he took it for four days. A rash on his body appeared, and his family doctor told him to get off of clindamycin because he was allergic to it, and to take Bactrim instead. Just to be sure, we went to an infectious disease specialist a couple of days later. He said there was no need for the Bactrim, and we went home. The rash was taken care of with hydrocortisone and in a few days, everything was cleared.
Then, on June 25, Tony was up and about, acting normal. We were having breakfast and he said he would go up to change because he was feeling a little cold. A few minutes later, we heard a boom and I rushed upstairs only to find him unconscious on the floor and not breathing. I attempted to revive him with CPR until the EMS people came. My son prayed over him, and we followed the ambulance to the ER where they continued trying to revive him, but to no avail. The doctor said it could have been either a massive heart attack, a blood clot, or a stroke. I wonder if it was connected to the bite (spider?). I spoke with an immunologist and when I told her he died two weeks later, she said it could have been a virus. I will have to investigate that further.
This handsome Greek, this wonderful man, full of laughter and wit, full of intellectual conversations, this amazing man, vanished within minutes. Just like that. Unbelievable. I am still in shock a month later.