On November 18, 2013 Shelley took a fall off a 6 foot ladder and developed a laceration to the back of her head. She went to the ER and CT showed no internal injuries and her laceration was cleaned and sutured. Over the next 2 days she developed significant swelling and pain to her neck. She was seen in the ER again and blood work and CT scan showed no infection and only soft tissue injury to her neck. She was treated with fluids, steroids, and pain meds. That evening she developed respiratory distress and was transferred by ambulance to the ER and was placed on life support and vasopressors to maintain her blood pressure. She was in septic shock and multi-organ system failure. A diagnosis was made of Necrotizing Fasciitis(Flesh Eating Bacteria) and she was transferred to a level 1 trauma center in Houston, Tx.(Memorial Hermann TMC) Over a month's period she received numerous full-thickness skin debridements to the entire back of her head/scalp and upper back along with painful dressing changes. After it was determined that there was no more necrotic tissue, the reconstructive surgeries could begin. The plastic surgeon was doubtful that the muscle flap would even work for her situation. He said that out of about 8000 surgeries that he has performed, Shelley's surgery would be in the top 15 as far as difficulty. She had a condition that was not conducive to life, with 2/3 of her scalp being gone. The surgery was performed and involved muscle flaps and skin grafts to an extensive area. After a few weeks, it was determined that the flaps had great circulation and were a success! Prayers answered!
Now looking past all the reconstructive surgeries, Shelley is faced with several other surgeries. The next being bilateral below the knee amputations. After being in septic shock and receiving high doses of vasopressors, the circulation in her extremities were compromised and she developed gangrenous feet and fingers.
The effects of one little fall were catastrophic to Shelley's life. Some of the items that she will need are prosthetic legs, fingers, wig, wheelchair, home remodeling for wheelchair accessibility, vehicle accommodations for amputees and no doubt countless other things.
Shelley is a single mom and has 3 children. Ryan, Courtney and Brianna. She has 2 sisters Kim(me) and Nancy.
For now we will take one day at a time and look to the future with hope for a fulfilling life for Shelley. She's a fighter and it is plainly obvious that God has plans for her and maybe one day she can be of great support for others fighting the same battle.
More updates can be found at her CaringBridge site.