Student’s story brings back painful memories of flesh-eating bug
A COUPLE have spoken out about their experiences with the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis after reading about an Edge Hill University student who ‘came back from the brink’ after being bitten by a mosquito.
Brian Lord, who now lives in Skelmersdale, tragically lost his arm when it became infected with the flesh-eating bug after he had been handling compost while planting tomatoes in a new greenhouse at their then home in Skegness.
Since the incident, which happened in 2009, Brian and his wife Jacqueline, who are both in their 70s, have been spreading the message on the importance of wearing gloves while in the garden.
The couple had read the story in the Champion about Donna Cox who was lucky to survive the flesh-eating bug and wanted to warn other keen gardeners of the dangers.
Jacqueline said: “It was reading the story about the Edge Hill student that brought it home to us.
“Brian had been planting tomatoes and was not wearing gloves. He then travelled across to Pemberton to take his mum to hospital.
“After stopping at the service station for a break he felt really ill and cold but he carried on to his mum’s home.
“Later though our son had to take him to hospital as his hand had swelled up massively.
“He was treated at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary where they said he had a severe case of necrotising fasciitis. Apparently the bug had entered through a pore in his skin between his fingers.
“The doctors managed to save his life but tragically he had to have his left arm amputated.
“Some people give the NHS a bad name, but the hospital staff are very caring people. They really looked after him at Wigan.
“For Brian, who had retired just before this, life changed dramatically. There are so many things that you take for granted, like driving a car, which he now can’t do. Our son has been a great help though.
“After this we went round the garden centres spreading the message about the importance of wearing gloves when you are doing the composting.
“We even appeared on the BBC TV programme Look North.
“It is so important that people wear gloves when gardening. You can pick them up for as little as £1.”