An intensive care nurse is “lucky to be alive” after she fell victim to a flesh-eating garden bug.
Jodie Wylie, 50, was tending to her plants when she felt like “her head was going to explode” – but dismissed the pain as a migraine.
But the health worker was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with the cruel Necrotising Fascilits – a severe infection that has bacteria release toxins into your blood.
The flesh-munching bug affects tissue beneath the skin and surrounding muscles, the Mirror reports.
Mum-of-two Jodie said: “I felt like my head was going to explode and I’d gone to bed exhausted and I wasn’t responding to medication.
“My throat was sore and I was vomiting. I thought it was just a bad migraine.
“I can only go by what my friend and sister told me because I don’t remember much.
“They called a doctor and he thought it was a virus and a migraine.
“My gut was telling me it was more severe than a migraine because I’d never felt like that before but I prolonged going to hospital until it was almost too late.”
The intensive care nurse from Melbourne, Australia, discovered a giant bruise on her leg.
Surgeons had to remove large swathes of her skin, muscle and her tissue in a desperate bid to save her life.
Graphic snaps show a huge patch of the nurse’s leg missing its skin.
The mum-of-two had to have 13 surfers to scrape away the disease.
She added: “I had a bruise on my leg which was so painful and mottled and dark. I couldn’t even walk into the hospital, I had to use a wheelchair.
“I had a feeling it was Necrotising Fasciitis and I told my sister I thought I was going to die.”
Medics only discovered the disease when her blood pressure dropped and she was rushed to surgery.
When they opened her leg up they diagnosed her with the flesh eating bug.
She spent weeks in intensive care, in the same unit she works at, and was also diagnosed with septicaemia.
Jodie, who lives with her daughters Charlotte, 10, and Madeleine, 8, said: “My throat was swollen to the same size as my head.
“It was touch and go.”
Jodie had hyperbaric oxygen therapy where she underwent 100 per cent oxygen in a pressurised environment to help kill the bacteria and spent a further two months recovering in hospital.
Jodie has now lost a lot of skin and muscle in her leg but is able to walk.
She says it’s taken her a whole year to get back out in the garden as she worries that’s where she may have picked up the disease.
She said: “A lot of my leg is numb so it’s itchy but I can’t feel anything when I scratch it.
“The skin is down to the bone now in some places and my leg gets exhausted.
“It’s taken me a year to get back out in the garden because it’s questionable that that’s where it happened and I dreadI’ll wake up sick again.
“The children are scared I’ll end up in hospital again and are still dealing with it.
“If it wasn’t for my friend Mandi staying with me, I would have been at home on my own and I wasn’t capable of picking up the phone to call an ambulance.
“”We really need to act early when the signs are telling us we are extremely sick.
“I tried to be brave and stayed at home too long before agreeing to be taken to hospital.
“It was almost too late for me and I’m lucky to be alive.”