|June 26, 1967 - August 9, 2009|
My sister Wendy was a happy, healthy young woman who was content with her lot in life. Being a mum to Lee aged 19, and Kasey aged 10, and a wife to Brian English. She worked part time at the local petrol station and store. Her main goal in life was to be happy and spend time with her family and friends. The family had just spent a weeks holiday in a caravan in Blair Atholl, Scotland, with Brian's family, and had a great time, the best holiday ever, where everyone got along and not a cross word was said. Prior to that Wendy had spent time with her side of the family at our brother, Mark's wedding to Jayne. My husband, son, and I were over from the US, so Wendy had taken a week off of work so we could all visit, and we also had a great time together.
On Tuesday August 4th, Wendy fell while at work and bruised her leg. Next day she could hardly walk, and was complaining of extreme pain in her leg and feeling not quite right, with some vomiting and diarrhea, so she saw the family GP, who said she had probably pulled a muscle, and had a touch of the flu. Over the next few days Wendy continued to have severe pain in her leg which was now swollen, gastric upset, fever and now had developed a rash. She was seen two more times by NHS 24 docs, who continued with the same diagnosis. Wendy was unable to do her usual tasks, but managed to give orders from her bed. Finally on Sunday August 9th, Wendy was unable to say coherent words, so Brian called an ambulance to take Wendy to the hospital. Wendy "coded" in the ambulance 2 minutes from her front door, she died later that night at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
Initially we thought Wendy had died from a clot to the heart, possibly from a DVT in her leg, or something to do with her heart, because our own Mum had died at 42 years old, the same age as Wendy, of a coronary thrombosis. We were however extremely shocked, when a week after her death they performed the autopsy, with the results showing Necrotizing Fasciitis in her thigh, and Septicemia caused by Streptococcus Pyrogen.
We had never known any one with this disease, only what we had read in the newspapers and magazines, or what we had seen on TV. How could Wendy have died from such a thing, she was healthy, had just bumped her leg, not even a cut. Further internet research showed us the extent of this disease, cutting down young and old in its devastating path. Wendy was given an all too familiar diagnosis of the flu. The websites have a list of symptoms very similar to what Wendy had.
If perhaps more people out there knew about this then perhaps Wendy could be writing a survivor story, in stead of me writing her dedication. Wendy was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie and friend, who had much still to achieve in life. No more, Necrotizing Fasciitis cut it short.
Wendy, you touched the lives of many when alive, now through your story, and education about Necrotizing Fasciitis, hopefully you can touch the lives of many through your death. And perhaps encourage one to seek medical treatment sooner so their outcome will be different from yours. Many have suffered through surgery for NF, only to die anyway. I am so glad that you did not have to go through that.
No farewell words were spoken
Thank You for the NNFF
Janice A. Northrup
Copyright © 1997-2003 National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF)
All Rights Reserved.
October 10, 2009