A mum-of-three nearly died when doctors failed to diagnose a flesh-eating bug – and blamed her illness on a dodgy curry.
Worried Sandra Mann, 52, fell ill after enjoying a chicken bhuna at her local Indian restaurant.
An on-call doctor was dispatched to her home and said the sickness, diarrhoea and arm pain was caused by gastroenteritis – probably sparked by the rogue meal.
But when her condition deteriorated the next day and her arm turned black she was rushed to hospital by ambulance.
Doctors then diagnosed the potentially-fatal bug necrotising fasciitis – and had to cut out a large chunk of her arm to save her life.
Sandra, who is now set to make a full recovery, said: ”My arm looks like a shark has taken a huge bit out of it and it probably won’t ever return to normal.
”My temperature was sky high and my blood pressure was dangerously low.
”It was a life or death situation. I was almost gone. But they were struggling to work out what was wrong with me.
”My family were absolutely terrified. It was harder on them than me because I was totally out of it. I had no idea what was happening because I was so ill.
”They told me that I was very lucky to survive.
”I feel extremely lucky to still be here. It was terrifying and I know I came very close to dying. The doctors who saw me had no idea what was wrong. It was very, very scary.”
Engineer Dave initially rang the NHS 24 call centre when Sandra fell ill and an on-call doctor was dispatched to their home in Arbroath, Scotland.
But the following morning he dialled 999 and an ambulance rushed her to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
An eagle-eyed junior doctor immediately realised she was suffering from something more serious than a tummy bug.
He called in senior staff and they confirmed it was the flesh-eating bug.
Grandmother-of-two Sandra underwent emergency surgery and whole section of her arm was cut away in a desperate attempt to save the infected limb.
She spent a fortnight in hospital and needed extensive skin grafts.
Medics told her the bug had absolutely nothing to do with her Indian meal and was probably down to a gardening cut becoming infected.
Dave, 53, said: ”Overnight it got worse and it started to turn black. It advanced so rapidly it was scary.
”It was very, very close. I almost lost her. Another few hours and she would have been gone.”
Sandra also suffers from multiple sclerosis, which leaves her more vulnerable to infection.
She’s now recuperating at home, but is still unable to do simple things like lift her grandchildren for a hug.
However, she’s keen for others to beware of the dangers of the bug that almost claimed her life.
She said: ”People need to know more about it. None of the doctors who came to see me at home recognised it.”
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