|Charles Turner's Survivor Story|
It has been said that Necrotizing Fasciitis is a rare disease but read the dedications page on this site and see how rare it was to the families of those that have died from it. It is a killer. If you have any doubt what so ever that you might have it, get to the nearest hospital as fast as you can and asked to be checked for NF. Time is of the most importance with NF. This site will tell you the tell tell sign of this disease. It is your life the hospital is playing with so don`t be afraid to open your mouth and insist on being checked for this disease. Read some of these stories on this site and see how some hospitals didn`t even know what to look for. So don`t lay there and keep your mouth shut and die because some one at that hospital doesn`t like your attitude. Just remember it is your life not their's so speak up or you may be silenced forever.
My name is Charles Turner and I live in Huntington, West Virginia. On May the 1st, 2001, I thought I had just about the worst health problem I would ever have. I had lung cancer and had to have my upper right part of that lung removed, but one year and five days later, on May the 6th, 2002, I was getting ready to go for an appointment to see my lung doctor when I felt a soreness at the very top on the inside of my left leg. There had been a small lump at that spot for years and I had tried to squeeze it quite often but it never would break open. What I didn`t know was that there was another bump on top of that one and that was what was about to break open and as soon as I applied a little pressure it started to drain, but I could still feel that small lump that had been there for years so I put my index finger and thumb from both hands on the bump and squeezed and it just flattened out, but on the inside of my leg and not on the outside. So thinking that I had finely gotten rid of this thing, I went on to see my lung doctor. The next day, which was a Friday, my left leg was starting to get a little sore but I just thought that was because of the pressure I had applied to it the day before. The next day was Saturday and I was on crutches because my leg was hurting just enough that I couldn`t walk on it very far. On Sunday the leg felt somewhat better but still sore and was feeling warm, not hot but warm, and I could apply pressure along my leg and feel sore spots all up and down my leg from my hip to my knee. So on Monday we decided that I had better go to the hospital because this wasn`t going away by itself.
After all the test were done, the words Necrotizing Fasciitis came from the doctors mouth but meant nothing to me because I had never heard of this infection before. I was put into a deep sleep, or coma as I call it, and the lady doctor came from the operating room and told my wife that I had less than a five percent chance of living and that first she would try to save my life and then try to save my leg. She of course did both. The next day, when I woke up, I of course saw what had happened to my leg. The doctor explained that everything that the infection had touched had to come off of my leg. The worst pain I had was the first time they had to change the black suction vac on my leg. I awoke from sleeping to find two nurses picking the black foam from my leg so they could change it. That had to be the most pain I had ever felt, and from then on I was put to sleep every time they had to change the suction vac, but I was alive, and about two weeks later I had the skin graft done but the place that started all this wouldn`t take the graft, and after another two weeks in the hospital I got to go home but I had to go back for the final spot graft that still didn`t take and had to heal on it`s own which took probably two months to heal and that was with the hospital nurses coming to my home and changing the dressing every day until it started to heal some and then my wife could change the dressing.
But even now, three years later, I still get some drainage from that same spot and it smells awful. I can`t say that I really had the pain that a lot of the others with this infection had but besides the pain from changing the suction vac I would say that the next worst pain I had was from where they took the skin from my right leg to put on my left one and that was just when I first woke up and the leg felt like it was on fire. The only after effects I have is a very weak left leg and the numbness where the skin graft was. I have to watch when it itches because I can`t feel the scratching and I have brought blood out before by scratching to hard so I have found that rubbing the spot is better for me. I am now 64 years old so I was 61 when this all happened to me so when it comes right down to it age plays no part in getting this infection or disease...
Please note: The following linked images are very graphic and may be upsetting.
Huntington, WV USA
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July 17, 2005