George Moses

Here is my story. Like I have seen mentioned by others, my story is not as exciting as others, but I was the one who had to live through it. On January 18th, 2012, I woke up in the morning, and my left knee felt strange. It was not swollen and there was no pain, but something wasn't right. The next morning, it was slightly swollen and uncomfortable. During the weekend, the swelling increased dramatically, and the pain increased as well. I went to work on Monday, Jan 23rd, but I was struggling to walk, and I was in substantial pain. I got home and showed my knee to my wife. I was thinking about trying to get an appointment with my doctor the next day, but she convinced me we should address this that night (and thank God she did). I went to "urgent care" which my doctor's office provides. I saw the doctor on call. He took one look at my knee, and immediately advised me to go to the emergency room, and go that night. My wife took me straight to the emergency room at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA. I was taken into to the ER quickly, and was started on anti-biotics right away. I was in the ER for 7 hours, and run through several tests, including an ultra-sound, and x-ray, and a CAT scan. The various doctors could not determine what was wrong. Finally at 4am, I was admitted to the hospital. At this point, the doctors still did not know what was wrong. On Wednesday, Jan 25th, it was decided that I would be taken into surgery to open my knee to see what was going on. The doctor did find irritation and some infection, but did not think it was necrotizing fasciitis. However, NF was mentioned at this time, so it was on the doctor's radar screen. The knee was cleaned and stitched up. legOver the next day, I was getting swelling going up my leg, which was red, hot, and painful. This was getting worse quickly. There were four doctors working on my case at this time, an orthopedic surgeon, a trauma surgeon, an infectious disease specialist, and a general doctor. On Friday, Jan 27th, it was decided that I would be taken into surgery. My leg was completely opened up, and it was then confirmed that I did have NF. I was in surgery for 3 hours while the doctors removed the necrotic tissue. After I came out of surgery, and was taken to ICU, the doctor came to see me again and to look at the wound. There was still tissue that was not looking healthy, so they determined that I should go back into surgery hours after the last surgery. Over the next several days, I was taken into surgery another four times for debriding. I was in the hospital for 11 days, and had 7 surgeries while I was inpatient. I had an 8th surgery after I was released to complete the closure of the wound. The final 2 surgeries were done by a plastic surgeon to close the wound. He was able to close the wound using a device that slowly stretches the skin to avoid skin grafts. This is a nasty disease, and I am very grateful for the decisions my wife and the doctors made in a timely fashion. I now realize the possible outcomes associated with NF, and understand how lucky I really am. Any injuries/cuts/scrapes I receive going forward will be treated with great care. To this day, I do not know why my knee became swollen, or how the bacteria got in. I did not do anything to injure my knee. I can speculate that there was a crack in my skin somewhere caused by the swelling, and strep or staph bacteria got in, but I really don't know.