Ellie is out to break the stereotype people have about Pit bulls. Greg Manteufel, the owner, finds Ellie always by his side. She accompanies him when he’s ill when he goes to bed, and during his mealtimes.
She’s like family to the Manteufels. Even though Ellie may be the cause Greg lost his limbs they love her like their daughter.
Greg developed the deadly sepsis conditions in 2018. The condition, which took off in the form of a flu, was not diagnosed at first. When fever, diarrhea, and nausea persisted the Manteufels sought medical care.
The silent blood inhabitant
The culprit was capnocytophaga. A bacterium that could be from Ellie’s mouth or from the saliva of another dog he encountered.
The saliva of cats and dogs has Capnocytophaga in it. It usually doesn’t lead sickness, unless the person has weakened immunity.
Greg was perfectly healthy. The doctors at the Medical College of Wisconsin had no explanation for his sickness.
The ten years to date have seen at least 5 more healthy people contracting the condition. Researchers from the Harvard Medical School connect the problem with changes in genes. All 5 patients had undergone gene modification.
When doctors ran a test on Greg’s blood samples they found capnocytophaga. It had caused sepsis, a severe reaction to a blood infection. Sepsis led to his blood pressure dropping and many of his organs malfunctioning.
Read also – Low Blood Pressure- Do Not Take It Lightly
Greg’s miraculous life-force
The Manteufels stayed strong because Greg refused to bow down to the disease. He loved his job as a painter and had a wife and son to live for.
Apart from his family, he loved riding his Harley Davidson Electra Glide. In what little time he could spare he worked on his ’66 El Camino. And through all, he had his companion by his side, Ellie the Pit Bull.
Even after 20 surgeries that cost him his limbs, Greg managed to see the bright side of life. He got through the in-patient rehab in just a fortnight.
During the rehab, he learned to move from his wheelchair to the bed, toilet, and car.
Greg picked up the use of his arm and leg prosthetics in record time too.
Researchers looking for answers
Researchers from various institutes were working the case before Greg developed the condition. The Women’s Hospital in Boston, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center were among those researching teams.
The team ran genetic testing on five otherwise healthy people who developed capnocytophaga infections. They were trying to find a pattern. A gene connected to the immune system was working in an unprecedented way.
3 of the 5 study participants survived but only after amputations. The researchers aim to single out the exact reason for the deaths.
Greg Manteufel opted to undergo amputations to save his and others’ lives and to help with the research.
The research still requires more work but the teams believe they will have an answer in 18 months.
Manteufel is still perfecting the use of his arm prosthetics. He performs usual chores to settle into his new limbs.
He also lost skin around his neck and nose area. Plastic surgeons are working on making things better for him. He’s aiming to modify his car and painting to work with his prosthetic limbs.
Greg is slowly settling into his new life. Acceptance is making him feel better and more outgoing. With Ellie by his side, he interacts with people and chuckles away what happened to him.
Ellie may have carried the capnocytophaga bacteria but she’s also the reason he keeps pushing ahead.
Researchers believe people with modified gene are at an increased risk of relapse. The Manteufels are least concerned about Ellie carrying the germ. They say even if she carries it, she’s family and family stick together.