Flesh-eating disease of the face

Flesh-eating disease of the face

Flesh-eating disease of the face

Necrotizing fasciitis , commonly known as flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues, easily spreading across the fascial plane within the subcutaneous tissue.

Manthrie Dewage Karunawathi is 59 years old and lives in Galewela in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, just off the Colombo – Anuradhapura road. Her name, “Karunawathi,” means “The Compassionate Woman.”

She is suffering from a very rare disease which has deprived her of the left half of her face, including the left eye and the left ear. The muscles have decayed and the left part of the lips also have been decayed exposing her teeth.

Until September 28th 2010, she had been leading a very normal life and had been a healthy lady who worked in a quarry, to find money in order to meet her day to day expenses. With her earnings, she also met the education expenses of her only son, who was studying in the University reading for the Degree of Performing Arts during that time. Her husband had passed away in the year 2008.

On that fateful day this dreaded disease commenced, she had fainted, subsequently showing symptoms of paralysis. The neighbours have rushed her to the Galewela Hospital. Since they could not control the vomiting of the patient they had admitted her to the Kurunegala Hospital. The next day a swelling has developed in the left side of her face, and the following day the entire left area of her face became red. After two days the swelling started subsiding and simultaneously the muscles of the left side of the face started decaying. The left eye and the left ear had started shrinking appearing similar to dried leaves. After keeping Karunawathi in the Kurunegala Hospital for two months the hospital authorities had transferred her to Colombo, as they could not diagnose the disease. In the Colombo Hospital they found that the entire area of the left side of her face had been infected and after one month they took her in for an operation and removed the accumulated pus content and also the left eye and the left ear. After two months she was discharged.

Visit Help Karunawathi for updates on her condition and treatment.

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