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David Coppin: Patient story

Updated: Apr 8

David Coppin patient story

Ravi, Founder of Health Klinix, story

I got a call from the intensive care unit at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. I was the Consultant in Infectious Diseases, and they wanted me to see a sick young black man who appeared to have severe sepsis and was on a ventilator. The ITU doctor told me that they're not sure of the diagnosis and didn't know what to do next. He was apparently on lots of antibiotics but wasn't making any progress.  

He sounded really sick.  

I sensed that this young man needed urgent attention before it was too late and immediately looked for the nearest elevator, and headed for the intensive care unit. It's during this time that I have my usual ‘elevator’ thoughts, where I try and formulate a plan after having gathered the information over the phone. The idea being that by the time I get to the ITU and the elevator door opens, I know what to do. 

My first step is always to read the medical notes to see what people had thought about the diagnosis. This young man was a young student at Coventry university and had become rapidly unwell and had become unconscious. People had documented an endless list of possibilities, but nobody was really sure what was going on.  

I knew that if this young man would stand any chance, a thorough, methodical approach without any stereotype or prejudice was paramount. 

As I approached David's bedside, I saw David's mum there; she had already called the hospital chaplain and had decided to place him in 'God's hands'. 

It didn't look good. 

Nevertheless, I remembered that I should be methodical. First, I started with an inspection. David looked very unwell and was on a life support machine with maximum doses of multiple drugs to keep his circulation going. Next was the close inspection of his skin before any other examination. I surveyed his skin carefully and noticed a faint red purple rash hiding and blending in within his black skin. I pressed against it and it did not fade. I quickly looked at the ITU staff and his mother in what felt like a moment of enlightenment. I informed them of the likely diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis with septicemia (a deadly form of bacterial meningitis with sepsis)


We immediately changed the antibiotics to one that would fight his severe infection and at very high doses too. 


Read more about David's story 

David, the patients, story:

My name is David Coppin and I was diagnosed with meningitis in 2009. I was in my 1st year at Coventry University when I contracted meningitis and I was immediately taken to Coventry hospital. Many tests were undertaken during my time at hospital and my health was quickly deteriorating while being in a coma for 2 weeks with my life slowly fading away. However, after one final thorough examination, Dr Ravi Gowda discovered a very small red rash on my neck which was quickly diagnosed as meningitis. 

As a black student with dark skin this was very hard to notice, but credit to Dr Gowda and his attention to detail, as he was able to treat my diagnosis and help me to a full recovery. I owe him and his team my life and fully endorse his practice and credentials in treating infectious diseases.

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