Lena

I was 8 years old when this began and I don't remember everything but what I do remember and what family has told me I would like to share with all of you. June 1973 we had been swimming at a friends house all day. That evening we went out to supper and went home I felt fine when we went to bed still had lots of energy like any typical child. The next morning, I woke up not feeling good, sick to my stomach and very bad pain in my right knee. My parents noticed I had what looked like a bruise and a small blister on my knee (I had no idea how I got it). I had to use the restroom very bad and tried to get up to walk there. The pain was so intense I went straight to the floor crying. My parents rushed me to the family doctor and he said he thought I had water on the knee. He tried to drain it and could not get anything out so he sent us to Maricopa County Hospital. The doctor there at that time, Dr. Casper, decided to admit me just to watch it because they had no idea what it was. Dr. Casper called my parents at 3:00 am and told them if he did not get me into surgery right away, I would die. I was told I had a fever of 105 and delirious. My parents got there as quickly as they could. We lived in Buckeye, a very small town about 50 miles out of Phoenix. Dr. Casper went to my parents and told them "I don't know at this point if I can save her life or her leg." My parents of course opted to have him to try to save my life. After six hours of surgery, Dr. Casper went to talk with my family to let them know I was alive and he thought he had saved my leg but only time would tell... He told my parents that I had a flesh eating bacteria also know as Necrotizing Fasciitis. Dr Casper told my parents the bacteria had spread so fast so far that he had to remove the main muscles in my leg because they were affected and that I would probably never walk again. I underwent twelve more surgeries, four for skin grafting. Again, at age 16, I was hospitalized with strep or staph infection in the same leg and had several more surgeries. I went back to school several months after the surgeries and had to wear dresses or skirts because the doctor did not want pants against the scar just yet and I was teased horribly because of the scar. I am now 38 years old and to this day I still have adults make snide remarks when I wear shorts in the summer time about how gross the scar is. It goes from my hip to my calf on my right leg and where they took out the muscles it is kind of caved in and I will be the first to say it is very ugly, but what I try to make people understand is I did not ask for this.....