Slightly disturbing content: Erin Rhoades, 30, from Syracuse dismissed a bruise on her left arm but within 24 hours it had drastically spread and doctors diagnosed her with a flesh eating bug.
The lower photo shows the way the arm was: an innocuous rash-like bruise on the inside of the left arm. Below the skin was a flesh eating bug which nearly killed her. It looked a bit like cat scratch fever.
When she went into the operating theatre she thought she might not come out alive. The doctors had made it clear beforehand that they were trying to save her life as a priority rather than try to save her arm. It was that grave.
The interesting part of this from my perspective – and I’m very pleased that she has recovered although there is some numbness in her arm because nerves were damaged in the operation – is that this lady, Erin Rhoades, 30, is a veterinarian assistant which raised the question whether she acquired the bug at her veterinary clinic or somewhere else.
She says that originally she thought that she might have got the flesh eating bug from a bite or scratch from her job as a veterinary assistant. However, she says that the week before she got the necrotising fasciitis she was in a different hospital for lupus. An IV catheter had been placed in her left arm. She feels that she acquired the bug at that time. However, the cause of the infection is unknown.
Mrs Rhoades is delighted that she has not lost her arm. Who wouldn’t be pleased but in her case, being a keen horse rider, it would have been particularly traumatic if she had lost it.
At one time she thought that she would not be able to hold a baby she wanted to have in the future.
“I couldn’t stop thinking that one day I am going to have a child and I’m not going to be able to hold it.”
Things turned out differently. Her therapist is surprised that she is doing so well. She is beginning to grip things and extend her elbow which has pleased her.