SURREY, NETRALNEWS.COM - The story of Canadian Chey Alvarez may remind us not to underestimate spider bites. This young girl was bitten by a brown spider on her ankle at her home in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
Two days after being bitten by a spider, it turns out she has a rare necrotizing fasciitis, a rare but serious bacterial infection that is also known as a meat-eating bacteria.
Chey was rushed to the hospital and had a coma. Doctors struggled to stop the spreading of infection quickly and eventually the 21-year-old was forced to have her leg amputated in order to avoid the infection from spreading.
When she woke up from her coma, Chey realized there was something strange with her body. Being too weak to speak, she asked for a pen to write a message to his mother.
Her mother struggled to decipher her handwriting, before finally being able to read the paper, which said “did I lose my leg?" asked Chey in her writings, as quoted from Daily Mail.
Chey’s mother, Rhonda Alvarez Licona, said Chey was in a coma for two weeks and did not realize that her legs were amputated. Rhonda admitted she wass afraid her daughter would die.
"But Chey knew something was wrong when she woke up from her coma," Rhonda said.
Her mother was still delaying to tell her daughter about the amputation, which would break her heart.
"When she was conscious of his coma, we did not tell him about amputation and wait a few more days because he still needed life support," Rhonda said.
The bacteria also attacked other parts of the body - the arms, legs and the pelvic region.
Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection caused by bacteria. This can destroy the skin, fat, and tissues that cover the muscles in a very short time.
This can lead to organ failure and death.
Brown recluse spiders are usually from the Midwestern and Southeastern states of the United States. They are the second most venomous spider in the state after the black widows spider.
They are 'shy' naturally and only bite when threatened, but the poison can cause itching, chills, fever, nausea and sweating.
Chey, who was bitten on June 3, was in a coma for 10 days and received live support for 12 days.
Chey's family has also set up a fundraising page to help fund her medical expenses.
"She has to learn to walk from her hips even before she can learn to walk on prosthetic limbs," Rhonda wrote.
Necrotizing fasciitis is most commonly caused by group A streptococcal infection. The infection usually lasts only a few days - they are mild and usually self-cleaning. But in some unusual cases it can develop into necrotizing fasciitis.
They infect the membrane's flat layer known as the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, nerves, fats, and blood vessels.
Infection also damages the tissues next to the fascia.
Sometimes the toxins made by these bacteria destroy the tissue they infect and cause it to die.
When this happens, the infection is very serious and can result in loss of limbs or death.