Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

C-section leaves mom fighting for life over dreaded flesh-eating virus

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Katy Yates of the United Kingdom is now the proud mother of a darling baby girl. She and her husband had been trying to have a child for five years, and had finally conceived with a fertility drug. However - Yates would undergo a horrifying ordeal with the flesh eating virus after her daughter was developed by C-section. Yates, now healthy and recovering, is ever optimistic. "I would go through it again to get to this point."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Developing the high blood pressure condition pre-eclampsia eight weeks before her due date put her life, and that of her unborn baby, at risk. Medics were able to safely delivered the 32-year-old's daughter, Phoebe, but Yates developed a rare flesh-eating bug that left her fighting for her survival.

Surgeons removed six pounds of flesh from her stomach in a bid to stop the bug spreading and she managed to fight off the infection. "I was in agony but put it down to having surgery. I'd never had a caesarean section before so I didn't know what to expect. I couldn't walk and had a raging fever. Antibiotics didn't work so they had to cut the infection out. I was left with a gaping hole."

The flesh-eating bug develops when the bacteria enters the body, often through a minor cut or scrape. As the bacteria multiply, they release toxins that kill tissue and cut off blood flow to the area.

Symptoms include small, red lumps or bumps on the skin, rapidly-spreading bruising, sweating, chills, fever and nausea.

Patients must be treated immediately to prevent death, and are usually given powerful antibiotics and surgery to remove dead tissue. Amputation can become necessary if the disease spreads through an arm or leg.

When baby Phoebe was born, Yates was immediately transferred to the special care baby unit and kept in an incubator because she was so small.

"I didn't even get to hold her. I got to give her a kiss and that was it. I was still really ill so I couldn't go and see her. My blood pressure couldn't be controlled so I had to have a nurse sit with me all the time.

"In the evening, they wheeled her down for a few minutes and I got to have my first cuddle."

Yates condition had not improved after four days but she was keen to be discharged so she could spend time with her new daughter.

"I was in excruciating pain. I assumed I'd get better but it was getting worse and worse. I couldn't walk and had to use a wheelchair."

"It should have been the happiest time of my life but it ended being the most traumatic.

The couple hope to try for another baby in the future but are unsure how Mrs. Yates' body will cope during pregnancy because of the large scar.

Yates is now a trustee of the Lee Spark Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation has raised 8,000 for the charity and is now making training DVDs to help maternity staff spot the signs for post-natal infections.

"Before I had Phoebe, I had no idea of the risks. It's more common than women realize. Fast diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis is imperative to survival. It can kill within 24 hours. If I can help one woman it would make me feel like what I've been through was worthwhile."


Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)