Samantha DeSande

I was born with Spina Bifida which is a birth defect in which the spine is open and exposed at birth. It affects the way I walk and I am also bowel & bladder incontinent. I cannot stand on my own for long periods of time, therefore, I like to sit a lot. In June of 2012, I went in for a routine same-day surgery on my right kidney to treat reflux. The surgery was a success. The next morning, I woke up and about an hour later, I started feeling chills. I went into the bathroom and took a hot shower. But during the shower, I vomited several times. I then took my temperature and had a fever of 102 degrees fahrenheit. All of these symptoms went on for the next fourty-eight hours. At first, my mom said that it might just be a rough recovery period due to the surgery which did not make sense to me because I have always been very resilient after any type of surgery. On day three of my symptoms, my mom finally suggested that I go back to the ER of the hospital where I had my same-day surgery just seventy-two hours before. Doctors told me I was dehydrated and had a bladder infection and they decided to admit me. Transferring from the ER bed to the bed in my room, the back of my hospital gown had revealed my back side and that's when my mom noticed a black spot on my sacrum and that's when we knew why I was getting sick--Necrotizing Fasciitis. I was then immediately put on I.V. antibiotics and two days later, underwent a debridement. The next day, doctors decided to place a colostomy on my belly so that I would not have any bowel movements near my deadly wound. Two-and-a-half weeks later, I was finally well enough to be transferred to a rehab facility, not only to continue I.V. antibiotics, but to also start Physical & Occupational Therapy. After five weeks in rehab (a total of seven weeks and five days away from home), I was released to go home. It's been three months since my N.F. diagnosis and my wound still exists, but it is nothing compared to what it was in the beginning. I am doing so well that I am planning on returning to work as a cashier/door greeter tomorrow!