A Devon mum whose daughter developed nf (flesh-eating bug) on Christmas Day is backing RD&E shoebox appeal
The impact coronavirus will have on family Christmases in Devon this year pales into insignificance when compared with children who have to spend Christmas in hospital.
Last Christmas Day, Cranbrook mum-of-two Kate Jones had to rush her then six-year-old daughter Hattie Arthur into the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where she was diagnosed with flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis.
The rare but serious bacterial infection affects the tissue beneath the skin and surrounding muscles and organs. It is referred to as the flesh-eating disease, although the bacteria that cause it do not “eat” flesh, but instead release toxins that damage nearby tissue.
Hattie, a pupil at Cranbrook Education Campus, ended up in intensive care and needed four operations to her legs before being discharged 11 days later.
Kate recalled: “Last December Hattie had chicken pox and had what we thought was an infection in one of her spots.
“When she woke up on Christmas Day she was so poorly that she couldn’t even open her Christmas presents so I rang 111 and was told to take her to A&E. We thought it would just be an abscess that would be drained and we would be home that evening.
“But it ended up being a flesh-eating bug and then she had sepsis. She was in intensive care and the bug was eating away at her legs. It was awful.
“She was in hospital for 11 days and we were lucky that because it was pre-Covid, we could be there all the time with her. I couldn’t believe how well Bramble Ward not only looked after the children, but also the parents and families.”
While in hospital at Christmas, the family were given an Operation Christmas Bramble shoebox full of festive treats for the whole family.
Kate recalled: “Inside it was a monkey which Hattie bonded with and still has now because she says it wipes away her tears.
“The shoebox was so wonderful to receive that this year we have decided to get involved with Operation Christmas Bramble and help collect shoeboxes to give something back.
“We didn’t want Hattie to be worried about being poorly this Christmas and for her to have a positive association with the experience.
“She bounced back fairly quickly after she was discharged from hospital. She has some really cracking scars on her legs, but she is really proud of them and has become more resilient. It hasn’t stopped her learning to ride a bike this summer or trampolining.”
This Christmas the family is looking forward to being at home for a happy and healthy Christmas.
Kate said: “This year it does not matter what happens as long as we are all home and safe. Coronavirus brings it home that as long as you have got your health, the rest really does not matter.”
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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.