Gaurav Gandhi

I came across this wonderful site of NNFF and would like to share my survival story in words of my dear wife... Hi, I am Sonal wife of Gaurav Gandhi who is a 6 month survivor of Necrotizing Fasciitis (NF). I never imagined even in dreams that as a picture of good health, a very kind hearted person, always eating right, that this would happen to him? Gaurav's story begins on Dec 13th 2009. While walking up the stairs in office, he had a sprain in his right leg. The following morning he felt a slight muscular pain on his left thigh. We felt that due to the sprain he had put more pressure on the left leg. He followed the usual routine and went to office after I applied some ointment. But he had to return back from office as the pain had become very intense. We visited a physiotherapist in the evening. As it appeared to be a routine muscle pull she gave him some muscle relaxant and advised him to take rest. On 15th evening he had high fever; red sores started developing all over his body and were itching badly. We rushed to a good General Physician. The GP gave him an antiallergic injection plus a fever tablet and it worked. But next day evening the pain increased; the thigh area had swollen and was hot, fever touched its heights & the etchy red sores sprang up. He was nauseous and crawling as he had no strength. I somehow managed put Gaurav in the backseat of my car, leave our kid to a relative and drove back to the GP. It was 10 at night. The GP gave a higher dose of the same medication. But it didn't work this time. That night was terrible. The First Clueless Diagnosis: On 17th, we went to the GP again and he was alarmed to see Gaurav's condition so got all his tests done. We got him admitted to a local hospital and waited for the results there. But the results were very confusing as per the doctors. (This is the strategy of this bacteria- Don't reveal ourself easily). Nothing could be made out but the pain kept on increasing. Gaurav by now was screaming with pain and Doctors were clueless. Suddenly, his thigh portion turned black!!! Suddenly his BP dropped!!! His heart beat came down!!! The doctors called me and said "We can't do anything now; Gaurav is in between life and death!!! He needs to be shifted to a bigger hospital immediately". "O my God !!! What did u say … Life and Death" A cardiac ambulance was hired and we rushed to the hospital. I was trembling with fear but it was the time of action. I could not waste a single minute on crying. There was so much to be done… Blood, Money, clear the bills of previous hospital, arrange money for the next one, find the best surgeon there etc. My mind was full of to do list in addition to soothing my ailing sweetheart. The True Diagnosis: It was an emergency situation; they took him straight to ICU. The doctors finally diagnosed that Gaurav had NF. They explained me the disease and Gaurav's condition. Yes, he was in a very advanced stage. The bacteria had eaten all the flesh and were moving ahead rapidly eating more & more. The toxins released were shutting all the vital organs. He was totally on life support and could not even live for a second on his own. There was literally no chance of survival. The Treatment: The case was turned over to the renowned surgeon. He & his team put Gaurav on a powerful combination of antibiotics and began debridement of his leg, removing everything down to the muscle. He spent 45 days on the ventilator and was in a coma for most of that time. To be certain that all of the bacteria were gone, the flesh and muscle was removed from the entire thigh some portions below the knee and it was discussed whether his leg should be amputated. His debridement continued for around 45 days followed by three sessions of skin graft surgeries. Finally the doctors were able to save him and his leg with a little loss of the leg's functionality (but that's a very small price to pay). God's Intervention: On the 3rd operation the doc came out very nervous as he was not able to totally arrest the bacteria. The bacteria had reached up to the hip joint and if it crossed over, it would be all over. We just prayed & prayed. All possible Havans & Poojas were done. The 4th operation was a wonder, the bacteria stopped moving upwards. "It was a miracle". We jumped with joy but there was another news waiting. The infection started moving downwards. Although that was also bad but not life threatening as it had a solution (leg amputation). We still din't lose hope. We had full faith in God and the Doctors who were beyond excellent. They managed to arrest that infection also without amputation. Although to remove it completely they did around 25 operations. Going Home: On 31st Jan he was moved out from ICU and on 16th Feb was discharged back to home. It was a great feeling to be at home but the post operative pain was still there. He had been hospitalized for around 2 months where he laid completely still on his back and became totally deconditioned, to the point that he could not stand for more than a few seconds without becoming nauseous or fainting. Then, started the horror of Physiotherapy. To even sit upright was a torture. A Physiotherapist was appointed who would come and give train his body to move. It was very painful but we kept telling Gaurav that it was very important for him to mobilize otherwise the saved leg would lose the entire functionality. Gaurav had a strong will power & he took all the pain and showed us that he could fight harder than we thought. Meanwhile I had become the nurse as I had to do all the bandages of his leg. There were many residual wounds on his entire leg which was very tender as there was no flesh on it. It took me more than an hour to open up the big dressing very carefully, clean all the wounds, apply medicine and then pack it up. It took around 2 more months for the major wounds to heal, still some minor ones are remaining. Now I have handed over the charge of small dressing to Gaurav himself. The Progress: He started to move. First, on a wheel chair. Later, advanced to walker, then to a stick and finally without it. He graduated from taking one or two steps to walking 1km. Earlier, I had to clean him up, dress him, feed him like a baby and do each & everything for him. He had become my 2nd child. Then he started to bathe (after around 5 months) and picked up other tasks slowly. Now he is completely on his own and is now in Canada for a year long assignment from his company. Happy Ending: WE are a happy family once again. I praise and thank God for His grace and mercy! I am grateful to have had the best surgeons, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, friends and family in the world!