Virginia woman nearly loses leg to flesh-eating bacteria

She underwent five surgeries at UVA Medical Center

By Ashley Curtis - Digital Content Producer

WAYNESBORO, Va. - A Waynesboro woman is recovering from a flesh-eating bacterial infection, according to NBC 29.

Salena Thompson, 28, says she's lucky to be alive. 

“It was like someone had taken a blow torch and was burning my legs," Thompson told NBC 29.

The bacteria caused an infection that is fatal in one out of three cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thompson told the Charlottesville NBC affiliate that she's never had serious health issues until now.

She first noticed pain her lower back and had a fever.

Doctors thought it was a urinary tract infection at first; however, they eventually diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease.

Doctors warned that without immediate surgery, the chance of her losing her leg was much higher.

In a week, she had five surgeries at UVA Medical Center.

According to Thompson's doctor, the bacteria likely entered her system through dirt entering some type of small, open wound. However, doctors can't be exactly sure, which doesn't give Thompson closure.

She will continue with follow-up care at UVA Medical Center.

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