Damaris Reyes-Goodman

On July 6, 2004, I we had a cook out in the back yard and I walked around hoping in the kids pool, very happy. That night I felt feverish and as if I were coming down with the flu, yet I paid it no mind. I found what appeared to be a swollen lymph node on my left leg, right by my thigh, and mentioned to my husband that it felt uncomfortable. At 2:00 a.m. I woke up in severe pain which ran from my thigh down to my toes and finally, after soaking in the tub, decided to go to the emergency room. When I arrived they first thought it might be a blood clot in my leg and after several tests and an injection of blood thinner, they gave me some tylenol with codeine and sent me home on crutches. By 11:30 a.m. I had a fever which shot up to 104 and nothing we did lowered it and then my foot began to swell. By 3:00 p.m. the swelling had reached my shin bone and I could not walk. Finally I went back to the emergency room. The doctor took one look at my leg and said it was serious. I was placed on antibiotics and morphine for the pain. Still they could not find out what was happening. The infection continued to spread and they tried three more antibiotics, which began to work. At about 11:00 p.m. I was informed by the doctor that I had a serious infection that had started out as a fungal infection and worked it's way to the tissue and muscle. He informed me that if the infection continued to spread they would have to amputate. I was horrified because I am 32 with five children and engaged at the time. God must have sent me an angel because the combination of the antibiotics worked and the swelling, while did not go down right away, did not spread. I stayed in the hospital for one week and was on percocets for about a month due to the pain I felt. In that short period of time my leg became infected, and it took me several months to regain the strength in my leg again. I am so scared now of any little scrape or cut because this infection is no joke. We still don't know how I got infected and it's been six months and I still cannot wear shoes only sneakers because my left leg swells. I can't begin to describe the horrible pain and not being able to stand up let alone walk on my own for almost two weeks. I feel for everyone who has gone through this and has lost family and friends to this infection as well. May God Bless you.