KTLA’s Mark Kriski has been released from Northridge Hospital and is back home recuperating from a more than two-month battle with viral pneumonia. “It looks like I’m out of the woods,” Kriski tells Fishbowl LA by phone, his voice strong but by no means fully recovered. “Hopefully third time is the charm.”
Kriski, who’s been in and out of the hospital a couple of times since before Thanksgiving, says he had no ordinary case of viral pneumonia–it was an anti-biotic resistant strain, a Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) infection. What began with him catching an office-wide flu, soon morphed into something much worse. “One day [doctors] were trying Penicillin, the next day something else, the next day something else. Leslie Nielsen and Jack LaLanne just died of pneumonia. Thankfully I’m younger than both those guys, but this was quite a fight.”
At one point Kriski says he was sedated into a virtual coma for four days, while doctors performed surgery to remove upwards of a quart of fluid a day from pockets around his other vital organs, as well as his lungs.
“The surgery was rushed,” says Kriski. “It wasn’t a planned kind of thing. It happened at 9pm. If they hadn’t caught the fluid buildup, it would have wound up in my organs.”
After surgery, doctors “left him open” for a few days more, just in case the fluid reappeared. It thankfully abated. But not before Kriski lost 15 pounds.
Even though he’s home, Kriski is still hooked up to a drain to prevent fluid buildup in his lungs and other places. In 6-8 weeks, he says, he’ll need more surgery to remove some dead tissue. Kriski says he received over 3,000 letters and emails during his most recent hospitalization, and that the support helped get him through his ordeal–along with his “outstanding doctors and nurses at Northridge Hospital.”
Kriski says he’s looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible, but putting a timeframe on his return is rather tough right now. “Some days are better than others. But I definitely need to rest and put some weight back on. I’m looking pretty gaunt at the moment.”
In the meanwhile, Kriski says he’s going to be watching a lot of movies while he recovers over the next few weeks, with gal pal Jennifer Gould. (We didn’t know either, until last week! We feel like Us Weekly) Tweet him your movie suggestions here.
Previously on Fishbowl LA: Mark Kriski Still Hospitalized, But Recovering
Update – 02/23/11: Kriski will be returning to the KTLA Morning News airwaves on Monday, February 28th.