Moving house is something which we all have to do at least a few times in our lives. It’s an arduous process having to pack up your belongings and transport them to your new abode, but it’s almost always worth it once it’s done. For one Brisbane mom, however, it ended in tragedy.
Thirty-seven-year-old Clare Scott was moving house when she accidentally scratched her ring finger. This scratch almost took her life when it developed into a serious bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis – also known as the “flesh-eating” bug – which caused her hand to swell up like a balloon.
Clare said that at its worst, the condition left her looking like the victim of a shark attack.
Doctors had to battle to not only save the 37-year-old’s hand, but her life!
They started by using skin from her right thigh to cover the gaping wound left by the disease, which saw the mom-of-three from Brisbane, Australia, endure a staggering nine operations.
Phil from England lost his fingers, toes and part of his buttocks after a water fight with his children:
“At one point, I looked like the victim of a shark attack. I truly count myself as being lucky to be alive,” she said.
Clare revealed that her ordeal began on May 20 last year when she and her husband Alister, 36, moved into their new house. They were so busy packing that she did not even notice that she’d scratched her wedding ring finger.
“I noticed a small pain, but I had been doing a lot of moving and washing-up, so I thought I must have caught it on something, but it was nothing serious,” she said.
“I had children to organize and a house to unpack, so I was just keen on getting on with it.”
However, by the early evening of May 20, she realized that something was wrong when her finger was swollen and red. It was then that Alistar decided to call a doctor. On arrival at their home, she said that it was infected and told the 37-year-old to go to the emergency room.
“When the doctor arrived at around 5 pm, she said it looked like it was infected and that I needed to go to A&E at our local hospital,” she said.
To find out more about the shocking effects of this condition, check out the video below:
Still assuming that it was not as serious as it was, Clare took a cab to a nearby private hospital while Alistar stayed at home with their children waiting for a grocery order. At the hospital, she was then given intravenous antibiotics.
“My whole hand had swollen up and the pain and feeling of pressure was spreading up my arm,” Clare recalled.
“But still I didn’t think it was serious. I insisted Alister and the kids wait for the shop at home, before coming to collect me later.”
Doctors then informed the mom-of-three that she would have to stay in the hospital overnight, but she assumed that she would get home the next day. That night, she woke up screaming.
“My hand and arm looked like a balloon had been blown up. They were getting bigger and bigger. I felt like it my limb would explode any moment,” Clare recalled.
The 37-year-old was then rushed to the theatre so that doctors could alleviate the pressure on her hand.
It was not until May 26 and three operations later that Clare finally discovered that she’d developed the flesh-eating bug.
A day later, she had to have an emergency debriding procedure to remove the dead tissue it had created.
“I was told there was a 50 percent chance of me coming out of the operation alive,” she said.
“Even then, there was a real chance I could lose my fingers, hand or even my whole arm.”
“That’s when I really freaked out and broke down. I was a mom, I had a loving husband, and I couldn’t imagine my family not having me around, or not being able to carry out all the normal activities we enjoyed – like going to the park or hugging my kids.”
Thankfully, however, the skilled surgeons were able to save Clare’s arm and, more importantly, her life.
Clare had liposuction in February of this year to reduce the size of her affected hand and is on a mission to regain as much use of it has possible.
“I want to be able to pick my children up properly, hug them, and be able to play with them without being in pain,” she said.
We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Clare all the best in her continued recovery.