It all started with a serious staph infection. Then, Chris Trammel was in what seemed at the time to be a benign scooter accident. Now, though, the GLORY kickboxer is in serious condition at a hospital in Thailand without many answers as to how or why.
The good news is that Trammel was moved out of intensive care this weekend, according to his girlfriend and Invicta fighter Maureen Riordon. The bad news is that Trammel continues to bleed from his lungs and kidneys and doctors are struggling to figure out how to stop it.
"They still haven't discovered the cause of the bleeding from his lungs so I'm unclear what that will mean procedurally or financially," Riordon told MMA Fighting via email from Phuket. "Once the bleeding stops everywhere he will remain in the hospital a few more days for observation and then will be allowed to leave. However, he won't be considered fit to fly for 14 days after release from the hospital."
Trammel and Riordon traveled to Thailand on a training trip Oct. 12. They planned on leaving to return home to Boulder, Colo., this weekend. It's unclear now how long they will have to stay in Thailand and also what further operations Trammel will need. Riordon has set up a gofundme.com page for donations from the public. It is already nearing the $40,000 goal, but the actual costs of everything -- from medical care to lodging to the delayed trip home -- are not yet fully known.
Riordon said the whole ordeal started when they both contracted staph infection, a common occurrence for fighters. However, Trammel had it bad and in an unfortunate place. Riordon said it was on a finger and nearly infected the joint capsule. The kickboxer almost needed to have his finger amputated, but doctors were able to save it.
Last week, when Trammel was on his way back to where they were staying from a doctor's appointment for treatment, he got into a scooter accident. Trammel made it back four hours later with no apparent injuries or damage to the scooter. He said the bike just tipped over and that was it, but Riordon said he was "delirious."
Riordon took him to the hospital anyway and about 12 hours into his stay to determine what was wrong, Trammel's spleen ruptured. Surgeons had to remove it and then Trammel's kidney started bleeding. Over the weekend, blood also started coming from his lungs. He has also had a fever for the last six days.
"And they have no idea why," Riordon said.
Trammel is out of intensive care now, but not out of the woods. Riordon said he is much more comfortable and "happier" in the normal ward than in ICU, where he was tied down to the bed. Thai hospitals are sound for medical care, Riordon said, but the language barrier has been "both difficult and defeating."
As for herself, Riordon said she's trying to stay as strong as possible for her boyfriend. They've known each other for more than a year and began dating in April after her last Invicta fight, one in which Trammel cornered her.
"I'm tired, frazzled, panicked," she said. "All unexpected emotions, but I have refused to be anything but strong for Chris. Now that he's been released from ICU and I can actually be one of his nurses, I'm doing much better. I don't like leaving him and they require a medical assistant for every patient so that's what I am for him now. I actually sleep on the floor by his bed."
Riordon and Trammel both teach at Easton Training Center in Boulder. Trammel is one of the two lead adult striking coaches and Riordon runs the kids Muay Thai program. Riordon has also competed in RFA and GLORY. Trammel, who is 3-4 as a pro MMA fighter, last fought in kickboxing at GLORY 24 in October.
There is still much unknown about his condition, but Riordon said Trammel is in good spirits and doing better than he was just a few days ago.
"We're still waiting to find the cause of bleeding and the source of infection that has caused him to run a continual fever for six days," Riordon said. "However, he is showing signs of improvement."