|Stacy Salomone's Survivor Story|
Hello, my name is Stacy Salomone and I am from Palatine, IL, and am currently a Junior at Beloit College. I had NF in 1994 and I would like to share my story and I also have a few pictures that I will attach. They are not of my hand, which is where I had it, because my mom and dad were too traumatized, but they did take a few pictures of me and my IV with my splint on.
So here is my story. I had Necrotizing Fasciitis in August of 1994, when I was nine years old. I had a mosquito bite on my right hand that I had been scratching just like any other child would. I had been to Vacation Bible School, softball games, and swimming lessons, so we will never figure out where I picked it up. On the night that I became sick, I rejected Dairy Queen, which my mom thought was weird, and also complained about my hand hurting. My mom looked at it and saw that it was a little red, but thought nothing of it. In the middle of the night my mom and dad heard me crying in my sleep. When they came into my room to see what was wrong, I was vomiting green and my hand was swollen to the size of a 12 inch softball. I was mostly unconscious during this, but I do remember them bringing me into their bed and taking me to the pediatrician on an emergency call. The doctors took blood, and told us that he had no idea what was wrong with me. It was during the doctor visit that he noticed a red streak was starting to head up my arm. He told my mom to drive me straight to the hospital because if the streak reached my heart, I would die. When we reached the hospital, the streak was at my shoulder. Nurses and doctors were waiting for me and got me started on an IV. The antibiotics stopped the streak, but my hand was so swollen that it could not reach the infection. The doctors were still stumped on what I had and they brought med students in to look at me and were always poking at me. I was entertained by the game room and the nintendo cart that they wheeled in for me though I could only play one handed. I was in the hospital for almost a week when they decided that the only way to get the infection out would be surgery. It was then that they realized what I had. After surgery they put my hand in a cast that they could take on and off. They also had left draining cloths in my hand and had to pull them out of my hand while I was awake. I was highly medicated with morphine throughout my entire stay at the hospital. When I no longer had to wear the cast they made for me, my hand was stuck in a downward position. I had lost the use of my hand. They started me on physical therapy right away and I had to go back to baby blocks and play dough. At physical therapy they made me a splint to protect my hand that I could take on and off. That is what I am wearing in the pictures.
After months of physical therapy, I got the full use of my hand back. For a while, I was so paranoid that I was going to get NF again or if I cut myself I was going to die. I eventually got over it, but make sure to tell people about the disease. A lot of people do not know that it exists. I am currently a Junior in college and am using this disease as a project in school. I don't have problems using my right hand and I am a fast pitch pitcher and play at my school. My scar has faded nicely and hardly anyone notices it, and when they do I tell my story all over again.
Palatine, IL USA
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February 19, 2006