A MUM is permanently disfigured after a horror c-section left her with a flesh eating disease.
SWNSAmy (pictured) was given just hours to live after she suffered sepsis and necrotising fasciitis[/caption]
SWNSSurgeons cut inches deep from her belly button to her bikini line in a desperate bid to save her life.[/caption]
SWNSHer wounds took nearly a year to heal, and she didn’t qualify for funding for reconstructive plastic surgery[/caption]
The mum-of-two from Rotherham, South Yorks, has no memory of the birth, but when she woke felt as if her body was “shutting down” and there were “piranhas in [her] tummy”.
The doctors diagnosed Amy with a Strep A infection caused by ‘retained products’ – such as placental or fetal tissue – in the womb.
“It was awful and I couldn’t even hold my baby, I was so broken,” she said, recalling the terrifying period.
A specialist then recognised ‘bruises’ on Amy’s lower tummy as patches of dead tissue.
Soon after it became apparent her Strep A infection had developed into sepsis, and then the potentially-fatal flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis, she said.
Necrotising fasciitis is often “flesh-eating bug” but the bacteria doesn’t actually eat the flesh, it releases toxins that damage the tissues, causing it to rot away.
The bug can spread in a matter of hours, even from a minor injury, and is life-threatening if it’s not treated early enough, according to the NHS.
Amy was rushed to theatre to have the ‘retained products’ removed and the deadly infected flesh cut away.
But her condition quickly worsened and the mum was given just hours to live.
“I didn’t think I could go on,” she said. “My whole life flashed before me.
“I just looked at my baby and knew she might never remember me,” she added.
Doctors hurried Amy back into the operating room, where surgeons cut inches deep from her belly button to her bikini line in a desperate bid to save her life.
“A few times in theatre they nearly lost me and at one point I had an out-of-body experience,” she explained.
Amy was left with a gaping hole in her tummy, which was later packed with bandages, and a little pump put in to take out fluid and dead tissue.
“It took all my energy just to breathe and I had to learn to walk again,” she said.
PSS is a condition that affects up to 50 per cent of sepsis survivors.
It includes physical and psychological long-term effects, such as fatigue, insomnia, poor appetite and anxiety.
Her wounds took nearly a year to heal, and she didn’t qualify for funding for reconstructive plastic surgery.
But now, having made a full recovery, Amy, mum to son Charlie, 11, and Evie, now six, decided to follow her dream of being an ice cream lady.
She also took the brave step of doing modelling as a side-hustle and said she’s happier than ever.
Amy won a modelling shoot in a competition on Facebook in December.
She started getting offers of work when she posted the pictures on Instagram, she said.
“We all want to see more normal shapes and sizes in modelling.
“Girls need to know you don’t need to be anything – but yourself,” the mum said.
“We all have good and bad angles.
“It’s about getting the right shots and I found happiness by accepting that I’m good enough as I am,” she explained.
Reflecting on her experience, she added: “It’s very rare to survive the deadly bug, and more rare to still have all my limbs, so in some ways I’m very lucky.
“I realised you can lose everything in a heartbeat, and that gave me the push to follow my dreams,” she added.
What are the symptoms of necrotising fasciitis?
Symptoms of necrotising fasciitis can develop quickly within hours or over a few day. At first you may have:
Swelling of the skin around the affected area
Flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, headache and tiredness
Later symptoms can include:
Being sick (vomiting) and diarrhoea
Black, purple or grey blotches and blisters on the skin (these may be less obvious on black or brown skin)
SWNSAmy took the brave step of doing modelling as a side-hustle and said she’s happier than ever.[/caption]
SWNSAmy pregnant with Evie, now six[/caption]