Waking from a fog of anaesthesia, Sandy Wilson found she was a patient in one of the hospitals where she worked as a nurse.
She remembered having a baby, and being told she had got an infection. But nothing could prepare her for what lurked beneath the sheets.
Flesh-eating bacteria were eating her alive.
”When I looked down at my belly, basically all the skin was gone and I could see my internal organs,” she said. ”I remember seeing my intestines. I thought, ‘There’s no way I can live like this … This is a death sentence.”’ …
To treat it, doctors cut away dead tissue, but the infection often advances after they think they have got it all.
Inch by inch, it devoured the 34-year-old Wilson. Spleen, gall bladder, appendix. Part of her stomach and ultimately, all of her intestines.
Over five years, she had countless surgeries, including an unusual organ transplant. For much of that time, she lived in hospitals and rehabilitation centres, fed by tubes and unable to give her young son a bath, to read him a bedtime story, to tuck him in at night. She lost her marriage and endured unimaginable pain.
My God, the strength of character to endure that for five years. Most of us don’t realise how lucky we are.