Skip to Content

Jim Slater

Jim Slater arrived at Oviedo Medical Center's emergency room with a dangerously high fever of 106.7 due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

August 07, 2020
Jim Slater
Jim Slater.

"I was an avid runner, constantly on the move, and always prioritized my health until I was faced with a month-long hospital stay fighting for my life. I thought I had the flu, but after three days with no improvement and a dangerously high fever I went to Oviedo ER(R) where I was diagnosed with sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The doctors and nurses in the ICU at Oviedo Medical Center worked for weeks to save my life. As I improved, hospital therapists helped me learn to walk, talk and eat again. From the moment I entered Oviedo ER(R), the Oviedo Medical Center team was fighting for me — and that's the team you want in your corner." 

To say that Jim Slater enjoys being active would be an understatement. An avid runner and restaurant employee, he was constantly on the move — until a health scare almost cost him his life. "It started with the flu at home. I had a persistent cough, no appetite or energy, and was so weak I could barely stand. Thankfully, my mother was staying with me at the time. After three days without improvement, she took me to the closest emergency room she could find."

When Jim and his mother arrived at Oviedo ER(R), medical staff and guards helped him into a wheelchair and rushed him to a room. With a dangerously high fever of 106.7 degrees, his care team informed his family that his flu had rapidly developed from pneumonia to sepsis to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a rare type of respiratory failure characterized by rapid, widespread lung inflammation. "They told me my body had basically gone haywire."

What happened afterward is mostly a blur for Jim. "My doctors and nurses kept me alive overnight, until a specialized rotating bed was delivered that repositioned my body every hour to help get air to my lungs. But my body kept fighting the machine and medication. My doctors decided my best shot was to be induced into a coma, giving my body the chance to fight the infection. During this time, the hospital staff did everything they could to support my family members, some of whom stayed by my side around the clock. They'd bring them coffee in the morning and extra blankets and pillows, just small kindnesses to make their long days a little easier."

When Jim began to regain consciousness and strength after weeks in the ICU, he needed the help of several hospital therapists to relearn how to talk, walk and chew. "For someone who is so active, not being able to talk or move was extremely frustrating. I pushed myself hard, doing everything I could to get back to normal. My physical therapists saw how quickly I was progressing and adjusted to keep pace with me and my needs — instead of forcing me into a cookie cutter recovery plan."

After spending exactly a month in the hospital fighting for his life, Jim was finally cleared to go home. He's taking his recovery day by day, taking long walks and bike rides with the goal of regaining enough lung strength to run again. "The team at Oviedo Medical Center helped me make it through the most harrowing physical experience of my life — and they've continued to offer resources to help support me in my full recovery at home. It's hard to believe this can happen, especially to someone who prioritizes their health as I did, but I'm so grateful this community has access to high quality care from the kindest medical staff right in our backyard. From the moment I was wheeled through the ER doors, the hospital staff was fighting for me — and that's the team you want in your corner."


August 07, 2020
HCA Florida Oviedo Medical Center