My encounter with the flesh eating disease Streptococcus aka necrotizing fasciitis bacteria
We had just buried my father a few days before and I was helping my brother-in-law pull the fender back on my truck. A drunk had hit the truck while it was parked at my parents house. I stooped down and felt a sharp pain in my right foot just above my toes. I had been nursing the foot for what I thought was a serious case of athletes foot.
There were little red sores all over the top of my toes. I limped back in the house and took my shoe off. The pain was excruciating by then. My wife, Tammy, gave me Tylenol and propped up my foot on the couch. Later that evening we decided that I should go have it checked at the local hospital. The ER doctor checked my foot which was beginning to turn very dark, wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and sent me home.
By early the next morning, I had become delirious and had a high fever. Tammy and her dad. , rushed me back to the hospital. By the time I was admitted in my room, red streaks were climbing up my chest. A shift doctor came in to look at me and told me that I could probably go home at the end of the day. I have no idea why he told me that?
My nurse, Jeanetta Sorrell, told me that I wasn't going anywhere and she was going to get Dr. Michael Henshaw to look at me.
Similar to what my foot and leg looked like.
Dr.Michael Hinshaw came in, took one look at my leg and the red streaks on my chest and said "You are not going anywhere." He ordered up 3 different antibiotics to be given to me through IVs. He told me that he had to control the infection before he could perform surgery. He told me that my infection started with streptococcus and had turned into necrotizing fasciitis. It was eating the flesh in my foot.
Days later, the blackness on the top of my foot got better and the pain was easing a bit. Dr. Hinshaw came in to talk with me about the surgery. He told me that he would do his absolute best to save my foot and lower leg but couldn't guarantee anything. I didn't tell Tammy what the doctor said because at the time she was going through so much already.
When I woke up from surgery, I looked down and saw my toes. I wiggled them in pain but I thanked God, Doctors and Nurses that my toes were still there!
I will never forget the names, Doctor Michael Hinshaw and Nurse Jeanetta Sorrell. Dr. Hinshaw had an amazing confidence about him that gave me faith I needed. Nurse Jeanetta Sorrell was an angel at my bedside. She made me behave with her wonderful smile.
Ten days after being admitted, I was finally sent home. Tammy had to be my nurse now. They trained her on how to put the packing in my foot. The cavity went five inches back from the opening on top. It had to be packed with gauze. She had to do it 4 times a day at first and then lessened until my final surgery.
Tammy had to put gauze in my foot every day
After about six weeks, I went in to have a skin graft. Dr. Hinshaw told me that it was his first skin graft on my type of wound. He removed a 3 inch by 3 inch patch from my hip and grafted it to my foot. The surgery was successful and the hole in the top of my foot was gone.
I am so thankful to Dr. Hinshaw, Nurse Jeanetta and wife/nurse Tammy. I am also thankful for the staff at Reid Memorial Hospital in Richmond Indiana. They were all wonderful.
This was a 3 inch by 1 inch wound. Cavity went back 5 inches.
My infection turned very serious in less than 48 hours. Please treat any infection, no matter how small....with the knowledge that it can worsen quickly and even become fatal. Many people have lost limbs and some have lost their lives to this terrible flesh eating bacteria.
See a doctor immediately and make sure the doctor UNDERSTANDS the severity of the infection. Remember....one doctor sent me home and another was going to send me home. I was so lucky to have had Dr. Michael Hinshaw for my doctor.