A MAN was close to dying after he picked up a flesh-eating bug after having a water fight with his kids in the garden.
Philip Pike, 59, caught the serious bacterial infection necrotizing fasciitis, after playing with his two children and falling into a rose bush in July last year.
Philip Pike picked up a deadly bacterial infection when he fell on a rose bush in his garden
Around one or two cases in five is fatal.
He got some minor scratches but thought nothing of it but soon became seriously ill.
He was in a coma for two weeks, lost parts of his fingers, toes and buttocks and had to learn to walk again – and had a pacemaker fitted.
Despite making progress in his recovery, Philip who lives in Cambridgeshire, still needs medication and faces having more amputations on his fingers.
Philip lost parts of his fingers, toes and buttocks due to the infection
Philip had to learn to do simple actions, like walking, all over again
Docs put Philip into an induced coma so they could treat him
Philip underwent several operations to save his life
The infection didn’t initially make itself apparent but developed at an alarming rate just two days later.
Philip told Cambridge News: “I thought nothing of it. Two days later I was in bed and I was violently sick. That went on for hours.
“I was panicking because I couldn’t breathe.”
His wife called for an ambulance and he was put on oxygen and taken to Addenbrooke’s hospital where he was put into an induced coma.
What is necrotizing fasciitis?
The rare condition is a serious bacterial infection which affects tissue beneath the skin and muscles and organs, according to the NHS.
It is also known as the “flesh-eating disease” but while the bacteria don’t literally ‘eat’ the flesh, toxins are released that damage the tissue.
It can start from a simple, minor injury but rapidly escalates into a life-threatening condition causing organ failure and blood poisoning.
Surgery is needed to remove any infected tissue possibly involving amputation and strong antibiotics.
The NHS says these are the symptoms to look out for are:
Early symptoms can include:
A small but painful cut or scratch on the skinintense pain that’s out of proportion to any damage to the skina high temperature (fever) and other flu-like symptoms.
After a few hours to days, you may develop:
swelling and redness in the painful area – the swelling will usually feel firm to the touchdiarrhoea and vomitingdark blotches on the skin that turn into fluid-filled blisters
If left untreated, the infection can spread through the body quickly and cause symptoms such as dizziness, weakness and confusion.
Seek medical treatment immediately if you think you have the condition.
Doctors fought to save his life and he underwent several operations and had to take strong antibiotics.
He said: “It’s eating you from the inside out. It’s horrible. People lose legs and arms.
“I’ve been brought back to life. I’d died I don’t know how many times. It was scary, not for me but for my wife. She had to go through so much.”
After he was brought out of the coma he had to learn to simple movements like sit up, stand and move into chairs all over again with the help of a therapist.
Philip and his wife, who have raised foster children for ten years, said that his kids initially didn’t want to see him as they were afraid of the all the tubes and pipes he had to use.
Slowly the family is getting used to the new situation with Philip and he is making a steady recovery.
He said that he had now been able to take a walk outside on his own for the first time since coming home.
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