Shawn Steinman
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My name is Shawn Steinman. I live in Kitchener Ontario and am a 26 year old NF survivor. I feel extremely blessed to have come out of my experience relatively unscathed. My heart goes out to all the victims and family members who have gone through NF. On Monday March 27th, 2006, I went to the hospital to have my appendix removed. I spent a night in the hospital and returned home the following day. A nurse prescribed Tylenol #3's for pain and I had a dry dressing applied to my incision which stayed on for the next few days. The next morning I felt sick and rested on the couch all day and I couldn't sleep well. My condition worsened with each passing day and I felt sick and bloated and eventually could hardly walk. I started to get severe chills and pains and the incision area looked sun burnt, blotchy and red. On Sunday April 2nd (5 days after my appendix surgery) I went back to the hospital. The emergency room doctor was quick to get a surgeon to see me right away. They initially thought I had Peritonitis and said that my wound needed to remain open and would be cleaned 4 times a day. Also I would be put on antibiotics and would remain in the hospital a few days at least. The next day the nurse marked my infected rash area with a marker and I went for a CT Scan. By the time I got back to my room the infection had spread outside the marked area. The doctors examined me again and diagnosed me with Necrotizing Fasciitis or Flesh Eating Disease. I was in surgery 20 minutes later. I was in the ICU in an induced coma for 2 ½ days. When I woke, I thought I was only out for an hour or so. I went through quite a lot of pain in the following days with dressing changes and VAC therapy. I could not have foreseen the amount of love, prayers and visits from my friends, family and strangers. My heart went out to my girlfriend and her family as they live in Turkey and could not be by my bedside. Without out a doubt my quick recovery was because of all the caring and support I received. I will always remember every person who came to see me and I thank my girlfriend and her wonderful family and friends for their prayers. I also thank the Steinmann Mennonite Church and my friends and family in beautiful BC. I was planned for skin graph surgery from my outer thigh but when I went for the surgery the doctors realized that I still had enough fat in my stomach that I did not require any skin graphing and my incision was closed with 80 staples. (*Thank you extra fat). As a result I have one very large scar from hip to hip instead of two big scars, which I am very thankful. This experience was an extreme eye-opener for me and my family and friends near and far. I have gained a fresh perspective on life and enjoy everyday with my friends and family. I would never wish for this experience on my worst enemy and my prayers go out to everyone who is going through or has gone through a similar experience. Today is June 1st, (3 months since I was first diagnosed and I am about 98% recovered with just some slight pain in my stomach which will hopefully disappear in time. I would also like to thank the organizers of this website for supplying an outlet for me and others like me to share our stories. If anyone would like to speak to me further, you can E-mail me at shawn@melodicmedia.ca I can be reached anytime. Thanks again.