Brent Mathews

My name is Brent Mathews, I am from Poplar Bluff, MO. I contracted NNFF while I was in the military. We were on deployment on our way to the middle east, back about January 03. We were about a week out of souda bay crete when what I thought was an infected pimple on my right knee, so I really wasn't worried about it. About a week after I noticed it started hurting little by little everyday it would get worse. After about two weeks of the pain progressing it got to where I could barely walk so I knew something was wrong. I went to medical everyday for the last week and all the worlds greatest navy did was give me some motrin and a heat pack. That lasted for about two days until I couldn't take the pain in my leg, besides that I have never been that sick in my life, even the Senior Chief of the division I was in could tell something wasn't right. It took me cussing out a Commander and risk going to court marshall for them to get the point that I wasn't lying. When they took me into the operating room for the first time. I do remember waking up after the first surgery and them telling me they were putting me on a C130 flight off the boat, they didn't tell me what was wrong because they didn't know. The first stop was in Landstuhl Germany. I was there for three days (I think), they did several debridement surgeries there. It was after the first few surgeries I do remember waking up out of the anestesia and the doctor telling me that they had to revive me with the paddles because they thought they lost me. It was then he that they were not sure how far the infection had gone, and that they may have to take my leg. Luckily I still had my sense of humor thanks to the morphine when he told me that I remember saying that they better kept the bone because "I'll need a whopping stick when I get out of here". Son after that was where they said it was definitely NNFF, the doctor tried to explain it to me at that time I was high as a kite from the morphine so the details didn't really sink in until I got to Bethesda, MD, but not before several other surgeries and a two day stop in Sigonella, Italy. When I got to Bethesda they had gotten rid of most of the infection, they did a couple more debridements there. Luckily I still have my leg. I spent a month there going through the rest of the debridements, skin graph, and physical therapy. In all I consider my self extremely lucky to be alive.