I wouldn’t wish necrotizing fasciitis on anyone. But, it’s hard not to feel some degree of happiness for Anthony Were. You can read his story at Portland dad: I survived flesh-eating bacteria.
“On day four, the bacteria halted at the top of my thigh — Dr. Kellermann believes it was a miracle. That day, the surgeon brought Dr. Kellermann in to show him that the infection had moved all the way up into my lower back. The outside border and time of the examination had been written on my skin with an indelible marker. “We are taking him in for a final debridement, but he is not going to live. It’s like trying to stop a freight train with wet tissue paper,” the surgeon confided. One of the nurses in the burn unit ICU gave my wife the same grim prognosis, motioning with her hand up the left side and lower back. Denise only remembers the conversation, but not what was said. She did not understand, at that point, that my death was virtually assured because of the size and location of the infected area; She thought the nurse was simply keeping her updated.
Two hours later, the surgeon emerged from the elevator and sat down with everyone in the waiting area. “I’ve been a surgeon for many years,” he softly said, shaking his head over and over. “I’ve never seen anything like this. We searched for hours and the infection is completely gone.” Dr. Kellermann cast all sense of professional propriety aside, and began leaping and shouting down the hallway, “Praise the Lord!” Scott gathered everyone together for a prayer of thanksgiving and as he recorded, along with the rest of these events in his journal, “We talked about how a miracle had been witnessed by us today and from this time forward, Bo’s life and all our lives would be forever changed.”
From Our Story
The humble necrotizing fasciitis comes in fourth, but is determined to move to the top! Interesting article.
4. Flesh-eating bacteria. Necrotizing fasciitis, a life-threatening illness caused by the strep bacteria, can enter your body through a minor opening in the skin and destroy your soft tissue. There are about 650 to 800 cases per year, and about 25 percent of patients die.
Read more at 10 Things More Likely to Kill You Than Ebola.
This is a very informative resource for those concerned about the Flesh-eating bacteria.
Necrotizing fasciitis: A severe, progressive skin infection which causes progressive destruction of skin and underlying tissue. It is caused by certain bacteria and has a high mortality rate… Necrotizing fasciitis (occasionally described by the media as “the flesh-eating bacteria”) destroys muscles, fat…
More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Necrotizing fasciitis is available at Necrotizing fasciitis Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments and Causes – RightDiagnosis.com.
You may have read about Aimee Copeland back in May of 2012, when she contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis (NF) from an injury involving a homemade zip line. She suffered overwhelming sepsis and multiple amputations. Here is a very encouraging and inspiring update: The Evolution of Aimee Copeland | Emory Medicine Magazine | Emory University.
Actually, it’s a fairly detailed story that covers different aspects of her experience, focusing on what it’s like to live a different sort of life, post-NF. There’s a bit of science here, too, which points to the benefits of living in these times, when victims of devastating events can return to a normal life. Of course, as NF survivors know, it’s always a different sort of “normal.”
When I saw this woman in her Jobst garments and mask, it brought back a flood of memories. Many victims of necrotizing fasciitis are treated in burn units or go through some kind of plastic surgery and reconstruction. For skin grafts, Jobst pressure garments act as a second skin, flattening the scars, aiding the vascular system, and helping the sub derma to recover.
I wore them from the tips of the toes on my left leg, like a bicycle short on my right leg and all the way up to my chest in a “tank top” style suit. I had some serious keloid scarring at the donor sites on my rib cage. The pressure garments were incredibly uncomfortable and ITCHY! When I returned to work after eight months, I decided to abandon the garments on the trunk of my body, but wore the leg pressure suit for a full year. They were restrictive, hot, and uncomfortable — I was already struggling to regain strength and health, while working again. Even though I quit wearing my body suit early, I had good results and never had to return for releases or other reconstructive surgery. Every night at bedtime, Denise massaged the scarring on my chest and that seemed to help a lot.
I saw burn patients with the masks and felt incredible sympathy for them. We met one woman, whose husband was blown up in a gas explosion — he’d had 89 surgeries and wore a suit from head to toe. There was one small patch of unburned skin on his head and they kept going back to it over and over, in order to harvest skin for his entire body! The woman featured in this article, Dana Vulin, is a true survivor and when the mask came off, she said: “I hope they see the scars. This is part of me now.” Amen! This is our theme song: Beautiful Pain by Propaganda
Read her incredible story here: A Maniac Set Her On Fire. 2 Years Later, She Removes Her Mask And Shows Her New Face – LittleThings.com.
“For years, we at the NNFF could only offer emotional support to patients with this terrible disease and to their families,” said NNFF co-founder and executive director Jacqueline Roemmele. “But now, withNeutroPhase, we can offer real hope of an approach that can save lives and prevent patients from losing arms, legs and other body parts.”
Most people who get necrotizing fasciitis have other health problems that may lower their body’s ability to fight infection. Some of these conditions include diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, or other chronic health conditions that weaken the body’s immune system.