Mike Adkisson, 21, Critical After Surgery : Wrestler Has Toxic Shock Syndrome

Associated Press

Mike Adkisson, 21, the youngest of the popular wrestling Von Erich brothers, was in critical condition today at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas suffering from toxic shock syndrome.

Adkisson was in the intensive care unit with a 107-degree fever and had lost the function of his kidneys, Baylor officials said at a news conference today.

Dr. William Sutker said Adkisson was suffering from toxic shock syndrome, a bacterial infection usually found in women who use tampons. He described the prognosis as “poor” and said Adkisson almost died Thursday night.


“His training and the fact that he’s in such good physical shape is probably the only reason he’s still alive,” Sutker said.

Mike is one of four sons raised in the town of Lake Dallas, about 25 miles north of Dallas, and coached in wrestling from the age of 6 by his father, Jack Adkisson, a one-time reigning villain of the wrestling world who adopted the professional name Fritz Von Erich.

Sutker said the infection began in the young wrestler’s left shoulder, where he had surgery last week after dislocating the shoulder wrestling in Israel. Sutker described toxic shock syndrome as an “extremely rare” surgical complication.

He said toxic shock syndrome is a bacteria which produces potent toxins that move through the bloodstream, affecting the kidneys, liver, lungs and other vital organs.

Sutker said kidney dialysis may be necessary. He also said Adkissonis being treated with antibiotics.

An older brother, David Adkisson, 25, died Feb. 10, 1984, in a Tokyo hotel room of acute enteritis, an inflammation of the intestine, following a wrestling match.