In 2004, while painting his house, Kerry O’Connell fell off an unsteady ladder and fractured his left elbow that required multiple surgeries to repair it. On the third surgery he acquired a MRSA infection which required four more surgeries and “gallons of vancomycin” to eliminate it. In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Kerry underscores the need for providers to be upfront to their patients about the severity of hospital-acquired infections, and gives some practice advice to patients entering surgery.

Write “Please don’t infect me” on your surgical consent form, and put a sign on your patient gown to remind everyone to wash their hands. Don’t be afraid to be outspoken.

You can read the full interview here. Kerry also blogs over at “Numerators.” Active on the state and national level, Kerry has shared his health care infection story numerous times, including on a panel at the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists.