Maria Garcia

I didn't get sick like I have read on other peoples stories, but my ARM and hand swelled to the size of my leg. I had no idea I was sick, so I didn't go to the doctors to be checked out. The way I found out was by driving down the road and loosing consciousness or going in and out of it. I pulled over only to be confronted by another driver who accused me of driving drunk. I explained that I didn't drink and thought I was sick. She didn't buy it and informed me she had called the police. She actually saved my life, as I was going into my sixth day of being infected with NF. I was taken to the local hospital where they admitted me. After I was fading fast they cut me open and declared that whatever I had it was beyond their scope of understanding. I was then life flighted to the trauma center in Seattle. They knew exactly what I had and begun surgery. After 2 days of surgery after surgery they informed my children that they were going to have to do an amputation on my arm. They later that day told my children that I would not make it off the table, and there was no need to take my arm off, because I wasn't going to make it anyway. That was almost 3 years ago, and 15 surgeries later I am not only alive, but lost nothing. I still have my arm all the feeling is there, I have complete use of my hand and fingers, I thank God for all this. I stayed in the trauma center for 5 weeks and should of stayed longer, as my home care was almost too much for me. I recite this as it was told to me, as I have no recollection of the events past the confrontation of the driver who called the police on me. I didn't even know what I was infected with until my son pulled up the fact sheet on NF and showed it to me. It was very moving for me to read this piece of paper explaining to me all I had gone through and how accurate it described in detail all my undergoing. I wept. I don't run into anyone who knows what NF is and to me that's criminal, because of the number of lives it claims. It also makes you feel very alone. I don't know how I got it, as I had no visable wounds or marks. It was type A strep as. I now know, but I wasn't sick just dying. This all happened April 16th, 2009, a day in which I shall NEVER forget.