Flesh eating disease ate my boobs” – Mum ravaged by rotting boobs shares images of shocking ordeal
A flesh-eating disease has destroyed a mum’s boobs after the disease rotted her breast tissue and caused her nipple to fall off.
Alicia Wertez, 37, was left devastated when a double mastectomy – to reduce her chances of breast cancer – left her fighting a flesh eating infection.
The disease, called necrotizing fasciitis, wasn’t diagnosed until 38 days after her surgery – something that almost cost the mum of one her life.
Alicia recalls waking up from her first surgery in agony and as the days past, her boobs became inflamed and purple.
After her late diagnosis, Alicia was told by doctors that she needed emergency surgery to have the deep tissue infection removed.
But it was too late, her breast tissue had been destroyed and it was so rotten, Alicia’s left nipple even fell off during a bandage change.
After undergoing six operations to save her life, Alicia has been left severely disfigured by the flesh eating bacteria.
The former animal control officer documented her whole journey with daily photos to illustrate her ordeal.
Alicia, from Florida, US, said: “I was trying to prevent my chances of getting breast cancer but I ended up with a deadly flesh eating disease.
“It was a nightmare as my breasts were rotting more every day, they were both purple and covered in puss filled spots.
“I was reassured by doctors and nurses who said it was normal but I was in agony.
“I started taking photos every morning and night as it was shocking how quickly my boobs were deteriorating, especially my left one.
“I was finally diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis 38 days after my first operation.
“I had five further surgeries to save my life and correct the damage caused by the flesh eating bug.
“My left nipple fell off into my hands after a bandage change, my flesh was so rotten that chunks were just dropping off daily.
“After numerous surgeries, I have been left disfigured by the disease and seeing my chest every day is a constant reminder.
“But I have been extremely lucky to have survived.”
Alicia’s ordeal started on March 4 2015 after she sought medical advice after finding another suspicious lump in her boob.
She added: “I’d wanted a mastectomy for years as they’d found pre-cancerous cells years before.
“But the specialist finally agreed when I found yet another lump, I had no idea what was about to unfold.
“Seven days after my first surgery, I was told that everything was healing well but I knew it didn’t look right.
“I was put on a low dose of anti-biotics but it wasn’t until four weeks after my first surgery that I was told I needed another operation to clean up a possible infection.
“At home I relied on my husband, Mac, 32 and daughter, Cathrin, 10, to help me do everything as I struggled to get out of bed, eat, get dressed or change my bandages.
“I was horrified every time I looked down as my breasts, especially my left one.
“Once I was finally diagnosed I was rushed down to theatre on April 10 as the infection had spread towards my lungs and in my chest muscle.
“The 30 day intense medication was so strong that my hair fell out and my skin went horrifically dry.
“My organs began shutting down and I became extremely close to death.
“I was in and out of hospital for six weeks and for a few months, I had no left breast at all.
“I had the implants reinserted on November 18 2015 but I still have daily pain.”
Alicia is sharing her story to raise awareness for necrotizing fasciitis after she was undiagnosed for 38 days.
She added: “I had all the symptoms such as low blood pressure, pain, swelling, and blisters.
“Both my boobs were eaten away by this disease but I’m lucky to have survived.
“I hope other women read my story and make themselves aware of this type of complication.”
Do you, or someone you know, have a similar story to tell? Get in touch today to earn £££ and raise awareness.