Bertina Huggins

I am 25 years-old. I got my first tattoo on March 30, 2006. I noticed the next day I got a fever and an itching on my genital area. Of course I thought that it was a yeast infection. What started out as a tiny, itchy bump grew into a large swelling, which we call a "risen". All of a sudden I started to get real thirsty and my appetite left. I sent for some yeast infection medication and used it and it didn't work. Then the swelling grew so large that I was unable to walk. After three days, I called 911. Before the paramedics reached my home the swelling burst. The crazy thing about it was the smell of the swelling. It smelled like what I was tasting in my throat. I thought previously it was my sinuses draining in my throat. When I got to the ER the doctor had to cut open the "risen" to drain the fluid. I got admitted to the hospital and then went to take a CT Scan. When I got back to my room, the doctor and the nurse came in to tell me that I had to be transported to another hospital because I had a flesh eating bacteria. I was scared. When I reached the medical university in my state, they immediately took me into the OR for surgery. 13 trips to the OR in the matter of 5 1/2 weeks. I have a wound that starts from my genital area to under my stomach, to around to my back. The doctors told me that it did not infect any of my organs, but the cut was all the way down to my last muscle tissue. They left the wound open in the hospital and I was connected to a wound vac to help shrink the wound. I then found out I was diabetic. I'm not sure it was from the infection or before. The doctor told me that it is important to maintain my sugar in order to heal. One of my surgeries included closure of the wound in which 80% was closed and I had to remain connected to the wound vac. After two weeks I received my skin graft. I was sent home with 20% of my wound still opened. A wound care nurse visits three times per week to change my bandages and my friend changes them on the other days. It is healing very well so I've been told because I refuse to see it or touch it. I will have one side of my stomach smaller than the other with some permanent scarring but that is a small price to pay to have my life! I was released from the hospital on 5/12/06 and I thank God and my doctors with healing me!!!!!