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Bob’s story

Bob was suffering from flu like symptoms and pain in his leg when his doctor transferred him to hospital for tests. A abscess was discovered and luckily a doctor knew the symptoms immediately. This is Bob's story a year on.
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It was really great to find your site. I wish I had before I contracted Necrotising Fasciitis in late July last year. I hope you won’t mind me sharing my experiences with you.

I moved to New Zealand 6 and a half years ago and almost immediately I started to get boils and spots which didn’t occur in the UK (maybe the occasional spot). I saw my GP and received various courses of antibiotics which helped to clear up the infections when they appeared, but didn’t stop them reappearing.

Then in late July last year while at work I got a headache which got worse. I went home and stayed there for 3 days feeling increasingly unwell. I didn’t go to the doctor at this stage because I was feeling lethargic, headache and my body was also aching. Adverts on tv were telling us not to visit our GP’s because of swine flu infection risk if suffering flu like symptoms. Well during the monday night I could not sleep and started to feel pain in my right leg, in the morning I went to the emergency doctor. I was given ECG and various tests and it was found that my blood pressure was very low.

I was transported to Middlemore hospital in South Auckland where more tests were done. The pain was steadily increasing and I was given morphine, but only when my bp increased.

I have no idea how much time passed, but I was feeling awful by this time and the morphine was making me drowsy. While I was lying in a side ward I found an abscess on my upper right thigh it was purple and the discolouration had started creeping down my leg. I called the doctor who it appeared knew the symptoms immediately. He informed me and I had time to make a phonecall.

My next memory is awaking in ICU days later feeling bewildered. My first visitor was my brother Norman who had come over from Scotland with the possibility of having to arrange a funeral. He didn’t know how I was progressing until he had a stop over in Dhubai and spoke with my friend who told him that I was out of immediate danger.

I had received debridement of my right leg from my upper right thigh down to the lower calf, a number of skin grafts during more than 10 visits to theatre. My stay in hospital lasted 8 weeks and my time off work totalled almost 4 months.

The whole experience was very stressful and has made me extremely emotional. I had never heard of Necrotising fasciitis before getting it and have read a number of articles and have seen pictures of other sufferers since. The possible consequences were so severe. I feel so fortunate.

I owe the staff at Middlemore my life and will forever be grateful to them and my friends for their support during a most unpleasant time.

Robert Christie

Due to the sometimes, unpleasant nature of Necrotising Fasciitis, we have given you the choice as to whether you would like to see the personal pictures that Bob has kindly shared with us. Please be warned, they are very graphic. View Bob’s pictures.

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