Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz has been battling a potentially life-threatening sinus infection for the past few years, the team revealed Tuesday.
The Oilers released the information about the owner’s health following a press conference earlier in the day where Katz made a rare public appearance, looking noticeably different than the last time he appeared in public.
Katz’s physical appearance shocked fans, who took to social media, questioning his health.
The team confirmed Katz has had three surgeries over the past 10 months and will undergo one more surgery.
Tim Shipton with the Oilers Entertainment Group confirmed the infection has a 50/50 survival rate. The exact type of infection is unknown but Shipton said it is antibiotic-resistant.
Katz carried an IV bag with him throughout the team’s 2016 playoff run, Shipton confirmed.
Antibiotic-resistant infections are a “major problem” that could kill 10 million people globally by 2050, according to the University of Alberta’s Dr. Dina Kao. Kao is an associate professor in the university’s division of gastroenterology and studies antibiotic-resistant infections.
“By the year 2050, it is estimated there are going to be more people who are going to die from antibiotic-resistant infections than cancers, all combined,” Kao said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s very scary.”
Kao explained that bacteria are very smart and good at sharing information and genetic material. When bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, they can develop mutations which allow them to become resistant to antibiotics, she said.
“Then they can actually transfer that resistance to other bacteria, and so then these bacteria, who have now become resistant to certain antibiotics, they can continue to spread that resistance to other bacteria.”
Kao said once people pick up these antibiotic-resistant organisms, they have the potential to make their way into the bloodstream, which could be deadly.
“We have very few options to treat these serious infections,” she explained.
“Right now, we still have some options when we have some of these antibiotic-resistant infections, but we are quickly running out of options. And so sometimes, even if we put them on these antibiotics that can overcome the resistance, some patients don’t respond.”
Kao said the best way to treat patients with serious antibiotic-resistant infections is through IV, and the best way to prevent these types of infections is to be very careful with antibiotic use. Antibiotics should not be used for viral infections like colds and flu, she said.
Katz spoke at a media conference Tuesday morning in which Ken Holland was announced as the Oilers new general manager and president of hockey operations.
Katz, 57, bought the Oilers in the summer of 2008.
Watch below: The Edmonton Oilers announce Ken Holland as the team’s new general manager and president of hockey operations