Surviving necrotizing fasciitis – Robin’s story
We know that mortality rates can be low in some areas; here Robin tells us how he survived necrotizing fasciitis:
“I developed NF in August 2014 in my shoulder. Initially I had severe pain in my right shoulder.
As this week progressed, I developed some discolouration to my chest, shoulder and upper arm. I was also starting to feel physically sick and unable to leave my flat.
My dad drove up to Inverness to take me back to his place, as it was becoming clear that I was becoming quite unwell. On the second of September, he took me to see his gp. He was quite shocked by my appearance, by this point I could hardly talk and dehydration was becoming an issue.
After being taken into Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, I was seen by various doctors and given numerous tests. I think it was after 10 at night when they diagnosed NF. I was immediately taken into surgery for emergency debridement, which I believe took about 5 hours.
2 weeks in ICU
I was back in surgery several times over the next few days and spent about 2 weeks in ICU half of that on a ventilator. I’m not altogether sure how many surgeries I had all told. What with the debridement, fixing leaking blood vessels, prepping for the skin grafts and the grafting itself!
The grafting involved taking skin from both thighs, front and back. And believe me, that was the most painful aspect of the whole thing!
In hospital for 7 weeks
Altogether, I was in hospital for 7 weeks. Apart from the surgery, I also had multiple blood transfusions. After hospital, I was seeing a physiotherapist to help with mobility in my right arm, as I was left with limited mobility in that arm and shoulder, but I was also going to the gym to build my strength back up.
However, while I was in hospital, I had entered the Balmoral 10k as something to aim for! This helped me both physically and mentally, as I had a target.
Now, nearly 6 years on, I do have lymphodaema in my right arm and I am unable to raise my arm above chest height. However, I do regularly run 10ks and half marathons, thanks in a big way to the support and encouragement I received from my surgeon and the nurses I met in hospital.
Negative impact on my mental health after surviving necrotizing fasciitis
Mentally, I do still have bad days. Remembering what happened and what I have lost, but having places like this on social media, having the opportunity to talk to people who have been through the same thing is invaluable.”
Here at The Lee Spark NF Foundation, we are also here to help. If ever you want to chat by email or phone, about how you feel after NF, please do reach out ([email protected]). We have lots of experience in all areas of NF and are very happy to help where we can.
The Lee Spark NF Foundation