Joshua Chapman

I'm Sue Chapman, my son, Joshua, had Necrotizing Fasciitis in 2005, here's his story. We are from Streator, IL. In June of 2005, Josh moved to Mt. Prospect, near Chicago to attend school. He was 22 years old at the time. On November 3, he emailed me that he had a sore throat. He did the usual, bought lozenges, etc. On the 5th, I spoke to him and could hear he was "throaty", he didn't mention anything else was wrong. The next morning, for no reason, I had to call him. It was then he told me his face and neck were swollen. I told him to find an ER! Josh went to a 24 hour treatment center, he was told he had Peritonsillar Abscess and was rushed by ambulance to Northwest Community Hospital. When his Dad and I arrived, he was getting a CT Scan. We kept saying, "he has a sore throat!" When we saw him, we were shocked! His neck was huge, well beyond his jaw line and there was a large baseball size lump on the left side of his neck. Dr. Smyrniotis, was his attending, and told him, he suspected flesh eating disease and if Josh had waited 12 hours to come in, he'd been gone. Josh was in surgery for over two hours and had several CT scans afterwards to be sure there wasn't any more bacteria. You see, Joshua's case was unusual because his Necrotizing Fasciitis was inside his neck! After the surgery, he was given a 50/50 chance. Josh's recovery amazed the doctors. There were 6 on his team, but others came to his room in ICU to see him. He was in ICU for 4 days and in the hospital for a total of 1 week. We were told a patient is usually hospitalized for at least 2 weeks. Hearing that your son has a 50/50 chance or had been gone in 12 hours was very difficult to hear. But I think my worst moment was when another doctor said to me that Dr. Smyrniotis saved his life. The fact that his life needed saving was never anything I wanted to hear! In January of 2006, he went back for a tonsillectomy, due to the damage from the N.F. I thank God for sending Joshua to live in Mt. Prospect. I truly believe if this had happened in our small town, my son would be gone. Our family will be forever grateful to Dr. Smyrniotis and the team of doctors and nurses that saved Joshua's life. Josh has a large scar on his neck, that he's always being asked about. He also has a small bit of nerve damage to the left side of his mouth. When they went in to clean out the bacteria, they couldn't find some of his nerves. His beautiful smile is a little crooked now, but he's here!!! He is going to be best man for his brother Cody on September 22 and 24 years old on September 23.