A flesh-eating bug made my c-section explode days after I gave birth – I smelt of ‘death’ & docs scooped out my tummy

A FIRST-TIME mum has revealed how a flesh-eating bug caused her c-section to EXPLODE and resulted in doctors having to scoop out her stomach during emergency surgery.

Deanna Hirrell, 26, welcomed son Kalub via a C-section in February 2019 – but just a couple of days later, her scar burst open while she was in the shower.

She phoned her midwife who she claims told her to rest in bed – but took herself to hospital a few days later when it started to "smell of death".

Doctors discovered she was suffering with necrotising fasciitis – a potentially fatal infection that eats away at the skin, muscles and fat.

Surgeons had to "scoop out" a 6in deep hole to get rid of the infected tissue to save her life – leaving her with 27 stitches across her tummy.

Former carer Deanna, from Leicester,  said the experience left her so traumatised that she doesn't want to have any more kids.

She explained: "This was meant to be the best time of my life – being a new mum. But it's destroyed me. I cry everyday.

"When it burst open there was all this puss and blood and the smell was terrible. It was like the smell of death. It was horrible.

"The doctors don't know what caused the flesh eating bug but I was told if I didn't come in when I did it would have ruined me and I could have died.

"I'm glad I acted when I did but I just wish this didn't happen at all.

"I love how I have a beautiful baby boy. But you don't hear about these things happening when you become a mum."

After having contractions for 12 hours, Deanna ended up having an emergency c-section when her heart rate began to rise.


She was sent home from Leicester Royal Hospital the following day but Deanna said when she returned home she felt "completely wiped out".

However, the new mum assumed this was just part of being a new mum.

Deanna said: "I just put the pain down to tiredness. This was my first time having a baby so I didn't really know what to expect when it came to tiredness.

When she was showering the next day, the stitches from her c-section burst open – leaving her with an open 4cm wound that was a "flood of puss and blood".

This was meant to be the best time of my life – being a new mum. But it's destroyed me. I cry everyday.

Over the next few days, Deanna was left bed-bounded and unable to take care of her baby.

However, her partner Mark Wilson, 30, rushed the mum to hospital when she noticed her C-section has started leaking.

After quickly being diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis, Deanna was rushed into emergency surgery where doctors "scooped out the flesh eating bug" and stitched her 27 times across her stomach.

She said they had to open up her c-section 6in by 6in to get rid of the tissue infected by the potentially deadly disease.

What is necrotising fasciitis?

  • Necrotising fasciitis is a rare but serious bacterial infection that affects the tissue beneath the skin and surrounding muscles and organs
  • Necrotising fasciitis can start from a relatively minor injury, such as a small cut, but gets worse very quickly and can be life threatening if it's not recognised and treated early on.
  • Early symptoms include: a small but painful cut or scratch on the skin, intense pain that's out of proportion to any damage to the skin and a high temperature
  • After a few hours, you may develop: swelling and redness in the painful area, diarrhoea and vomiting, dark blotches on the skin that turn into fluid-filled blisters
  • The main treatments for the condition are surgery to remove the affected skin and antibiotics which are administered directly to the vein
  • You can prevent necrotising fasciitis by treating wounds quickly, keeping them clean and dry and washing your hands regularly

Source: NHS

Deanna remained in Leicester General Hospital for a week before returning home.

Doctors don't know what led to the infection, she said, but Deanna thinks it was either due to the c-section or her traumatic delivery.

Despite healing well after surgery, Deanna says her confidence has been "crippled" and the experience has been so scarring she does not want to have anymore children.

"It's just really ruined my confidence," she said. "The operation has left scarring which has left an upside down smiley face on my stomach.

"I used to be a size 12-14 but now I've ballooned to a size 20.

"It's completely crippled me and some days I get so down about it.

"It hangs down and covers my moo and legs. I just look and feel horrible.

"I always wanted to be a mum but I dare not have another baby as it will probably cripple me."

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