Chiacchia Hospitalized With Meningitis & MRSA

11:26 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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Darren Chiacchia

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Western New York Olympic equestrian Darren Chiacchia is in the hospital, seriously ill with fungal meningitis and MRSA.

A family spokesperson says the 48-year-old is being treated at Buffalo General Hospital.

The spokesperson, Hallie McEvoy, says though it's not definitively known how Chiacchia got fungal meningitis, he likely did not get it from a steroid shot linked to a tainted batch for back pain made by a pharmacy in Massachusetts. 

Fungal meningitis can be acquired by working on a farm, as the type of fungus is commonly found in soil samples.

Chiacchia has horse farms in Ocala, Florida and Springville, New York.

He was on the bronze-medal winning U.S. team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

In 2010, Chiacchia was charged with a felony for not informing his partner at the time that he was H.I.V. positive.  However, the charge was eventually dropped. 

In 2008, he was involved in a horrifying accident during a competition in Florida that nearly killed him. 

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