What it's like to battle flesh-eating bacteria (with all the gory pictures)

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Redditor johnboy9210 retrieved a football from a stagnant koi pond one day and contracted necrotizing fasciitis, the infamous flesh-eating disease. Fortunately, we don't have to experience the tissue-chomping bacteria first-hand, and can instead witness his photographic account from the early signs of infection through his multiple surgeries.

Just 36 hours after the bacteria first entered his body, johnboy9210 took a photo of his swollen, throbbing pinky finger. When his pinky started turning black, he rushed to the ER. At first, the doctors planned to culture the bacteria from his finger, but it soon became clear that he needed immediate surgery to remove the infected tissue. It wasn't until after his first surgery that he received his diagnosis learned exactly which bug it was: Streptococcus pyogenes. And that proved just the beginning of his medical adventure.


All in all, johnboy9210 took 52 photos documenting his infection, surgeries, hospital stay, and even hospital bills. He's remarkably good-natured through the entire thing, even though, in the end, he had to lose a good chunk of his pinky finger. If you're not squeamish about infections and surgical photos, the entire album is fascinating, and johnboy9210's annotations give you an idea of the crazy urgency that comes with such a sudden infection. He's also keeping reddit updated on his healing process. Swift recovery, sir!

While it's unfortunate that he lost part of his pinky, johnboy9210 was lucky that the condition was identified so quickly. A friend of mine developed necrotizing fasciitis from a pedicure several years ago, and it took several doctors—and multiple hospitals—before someone correctly identified the condition. Luckily, she kept her foot, but after three surgeries to remove the bacteria, she had to spend a month in the hospital and has blocked out a few painful weeks from her memory. Thankfully, it looks like johnboy9210's infection has been dealt with quickly and effectively. If you have a reddit account, give the guy a little upvote love.


So last week I got Necrotizing Fasciitis. Originally posted on r/wtf, but posting here as it seems a more suitable subreddit [WARNING: Some images NSFW/NSFL] [reddit]