On the road to recovery

June 22, 2009 3:02:00 PM PDT
It seems that no one is safe from potentially deadly staph infections. A Houston businessman and philanthropist is one of the latest victims. His battle with MRSA has been a long and difficult struggle. He's a familiar face to generations of Houstonians. But now the man behind the I.W. Marks jewelry store is facing his biggest challenge yet. Irv Marks was diagnosed about five months ago with a resistant staph infection.

"We didn't know what it was at first, but after they did some blood work, it came out that it was MRSA," said Irv Marks' son, Bradley Marks.

MRSA is a bacterium responsible for difficult-to-treat infections in humans. In the past decade or so, the number of infections from it in this country has jumped dramatically. It often enters the body through opened wounds. But doctors aren't sure exactly how Marks got it.

"Well, they don't know exactly how he got it," said Marks. "He had some bed sores from not being very mobile. But there's not one who'll say for sure exactly how he got this infection."

Marks spent five months in the hospital getting it treated. His son says the infection is now cleared up. In December, he came to TIRR to continue his recovery.

"He's doing better, looks better," said Bradley. "His range of motion is getting better, his strength is getting better. So he, God willing, he's on the road to recovery."

The elder Marks has history with TIRR, donating money to the facility. TIRR, meanwhile, has named a therapy gym in his honor. His son says there's no timetable for his dad's release from the hospital. But he's just thankful he's getting better.

"I'm convinced that prayers work," said Marks. "I'm not sure if he's supposed to be here."

Marks says he wants to thank everyone for the get well cards and well wishes during his dad's hospital stay. In 2002, IW Marks celebrated 50 years in the jewelry business.


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