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Ginny Duffy, who beat flesh-eating disease, says thank you to her nurses

Apr 27, 2020 | Awareness

A heartfelt thank you: Ginny Duffy, who overcame flesh-eating disease, acknowledges her nurses.

Ginny Duffy, the long-time basketball official who is still in the midst of recovering from a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis, was featured on earlier this week.

Duffy, who has refereed games at many different levels — including high school girls’ and college — spent a total of 78 days in both the Staten Island University Hospital Burn Unit and Rehabilitation Center while battling the illness.

Photo of a woman in a hospital bed

Between Dec. 7-29, the Eltingville resident was basically unconscious. Doctors, at one point, didn’t think Duffy would make it, but she persevered and thankfully, she’s alive and kicking today.

Duffy recently agreed to tell her story and wished to send an open letter to SIUH’s medical staff with a heartfelt thank you. Her letter is below.

“Nurses are known as “Angels of Mercy,” which in Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions means “A messenger from God.” I experienced the Angels of Mercy first hand in my life and death experience in the Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) Burn Unit. In the past, nurses at SIUH received stars to wear on their name tags if a patient wrote in about exceptional care. That practice is no longer in place. In lieu of stars, I would like to share my story but most importantly, my eternal gratitude to, not only the nurses but all the staff (too numerous to name everyone) in the SIUH BURN UNIT that saved my life and my leg. They are my heroes and in the truest sense of the word angels of mercy and messengers from God.”

Here is my story: I returned from an Aruba vacation in early December with intense pain in my left thigh. After a brief evaluation at SIUH South I was immediately transferred to SIUH North Burn Unit. I remember being in the ambulance but lost consciousness. I was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) and doctors performed multiple surgeries in a valiant attempt to save my life and my leg.

I was told that I was heavily medicated and placed on a ventilator for over a month with all the tubes required to keep one alive for that long period of time. After being removed from the ventilator, I remained in the SIUH Burn Unit for continued surgeries and care to keep the infection at bay. I entered the Burn Unit on December 7 and was finally able to leave (it) on February 12. I was transferred to a rehab unit and finally discharged from the hospital on February 25. I spent 78 days in SIUH mostly in the Burn Unit whose unsung heroes and heroines allow me to write this letter of gratitude now.

You can read the full story here.

We at The Lee Spark NF Foundation (including our professional network); do not support any advertising found in these links. The wording used, though helpful in raising awareness of necrotising fasciitis, is used in a publication media manner and is not produced by our charity.

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