Blake Haxton, the young guy who’s suing medical practitioners and hospitals in Ohio alleging that they failed to timely diagnose the fact that he contracted flesh-eating bacteria isn’t the only one who resorted to the courts to demand damages for his resulting condition.
As mentioned in an earlier post, early diagnosis of the flesh-eating disease is very crucial; if it’s not diagnosed early, the person infected can die immediately (within 12-24 hours). However, early diagnosis may not be enough to save a person if complications prevent a sick person’s recovery.
This appears to be the case of 33-year-old Jennifer Cormier McFarlane who valiantly fought the disease but who eventually succumbed after 15 months.
Who can get infected with the flesh-eating bug? Ordinary people like you, me and Tanya Gludau. Celebrities like Michael Jackson. Olympic medalists like Australian swimmer Grant Hackett. And, as you will note when you read the interview below, Nobel Prize winners like Eric Cornell.
Professor Cornell, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1995, was infected with the disease in 2004. It isn’t clear how he got the bug but, according to the Professor, he “must have had a little scratch or a cut there and had that scratch or cut exposed to the invasive form of the strep bacteria”. The bacteria, in case you are wondering, is the necrotizing fasciitis which you can read more about here.
One of the things I want to do with this blog is to provide a space where we learn about this disease through the stories of people who were infected by it. One such story is the touching tale of Tanya Gludau, a chef who contracted the bacteria when she accidentally cut a finger while preparing food in the kitchen.
Read Tanya’s story, as reported by the Tahoe Daily Tribune, after the jump.