Bonnie Hitchcock

My name is Bonnie Hitchcock. I live in a small town in northeastern Maryland. In March 2006 I came home from work around 11:00pm. It was a Sunday night and I had just finished working back to back 16 hour shifts in a local nursing home. I went to my basement and tossed a load of clothes into the drier and then took a shower. As I was drying off I noted what looked like a pimple on the inner aspect of my right breast. Thinking nothing more of it, I went to bed. The next morning there was a huge white pustule about the size of a grape where the small pimple like area had been. I thought "wow this is huge" but since there was no great pain to the site I didn't do anything. By Tuesday the area was the size of a golf ball and I went to the local urgent care for treatment. I was given some IV antibiotics and they attempted to do an incision and drainage which was not real successful. I was sent home with oral antibiotics and told to soak the area in warm water several times a day. Over night the "abscess" ruptured and I awoke to a blood and puss soaked night shirt. Thinking this was good I cleaned the area and applied a topical antibiotic cream that had also been prescribed. Thursday morning however I had the shock of my life. The area which was originally red and purple was now black and brown and I was in excruciating pain. The area had also tripled in diameter. At that time I went to my personal physician and he diagnosed me with necrotizing fasciitis. We believed it to be from a spider bite. My personal physician set me up with a surgeon for the next day. The surgeon evaluated me that Friday and on Saturday I had surgery for debridement. I ended up having 3 surgeries; two of which were soley for the purpose of surgical debridement to remove the necrotic tissue. Now, six years later, I still bear the 5 inch long scar. The surgeon agreed that only a spider bite could have done so much damage to the soft tissue. It was explained to me that the venom from the spider was deep into the tissue. During the original surgery I was cut 1/2 inch around the wound and 1/4 inch deep. I don't recall how much he had to take out with the second surgery. I just know I am lucky that I did not lose my breast.