Stephanie Fenster

May 21, 2007, I just returned home from a weekend in Jacksonville, FL visiting my aunt, uncle, and two cousins, one whom I just met for the 1st time in my life and I recall it starting as a pain around my left armpit so I just assumed it was a clogged sweatgland. Two days later, my left breast above the nipple started turning black and it was just ugly. I could barely move at this point. I had a very high fever, chills, fatigue, wanting to sleep all day, I just was not feeling right. The next day, on the 24th, my symptoms got worse so I had my boyfriend drive me to the hospital, JFK Memorial Hospital in Lake Worth, Florida. I remember being taken down after a couple hours of observation to the operating room where they removed the infected skin and tissue. After the operation was when I learned that all of this was from Necrotizing Fasciitis. From what I been told, it had to have entered from a wound, which in my case was a bug bite. I spent four days in the Critical Care Unit. And spent another four days in a regular room. I was on oxygen and had IV's stuck in me. Eight days later, June 1st, 2007, was released with a pick line in my arm for at-home nursing care to dress my wound and give me meds through the pick line. Eventually in the middle of July I had the area on my left breast skin grafted with skin from the outer portion of my left thigh. I was thankful to still have my nipple intact and to still have a breast there. 2007 was not a good year for me, my boyfriend decided to break up with me before the skin graft and I just about lost the will to live but I knew that there's life whether it be with or without him and we got back together two months later. I do have future plans for a breast reduction to lessen the scar left by the Necrotizing Fasciitis but unfortunately I am unable to afford it due to major financial difficulties. I read the other stories and though almost all the cases were more severe than mine, I feel the pain.