Mum almost killed by flesh eating bug that left her ‘smelling like a corpse’ after c-section

Mum almost killed by flesh eating bug that left her ‘smelling like a corpse’ after c-section

- in Uk News

A MUM has told of her C-section horror after she was nearly killed by a flesh eating infection that smelled “like dead bodies”.

Stricken Claire Gurney, 37, says an excruciating “black mass” enveloped her stomach just two days after she gave birth to her new baby boy last month.

Claire Gurney in hospital with her newborn son after a c-section.

Mum-of-four Claire, from Kettering, Northants, told how she knew something wasn’t right almost as soon as she returned home from hospital.

She was plagued by stomach pains and a high temperature before the wound from her C-section became horribly infected.

Claire told Sun Online: “I was sent home after the C-section and after two days I was getting a lot pain in my stomach and then noticed my stomach was getting hard and black and smelly.

“I called the local hospital and said I had a temperature and wasn’t feeling well at all.

“The next day I was rushed to surgery. I was in pain. I had this really horrible smell that smelled like dead people.”

It’s understood she contracted the deadly necrotising fasciitis bug – which eats its way through human flesh.

I went through the C-section then two days later there was this big black mass. It was rotting tissue. If I hadn’t caught it when I had it would have kept eating away at me.

Claire Gurning

The stricken mum revealed: “They had to cut three to five pounds of tissue and infection away from my stomach. The operation went on for two hours.

“They wanted to put me in intensive care but I refused because my baby couldn’t have come with me. I could have died.”

Claire was allowed to go home yesterday but must return to Kettering General Hospital every day for antibiotics.

She said: “I’ve been on strong antibiotics. The infection started to screen back for as bit but I’m getting better.

“I don’t see where the infection could have came from other than the C-section.

“I went through the C-section then two days later there was this big black mass. It was rotting tissue. If I hadn’t caught it when I had it would have kept eating away at me.

“I don’t think there is anything I did that caused it or anything I could have done that could have prevented it. It must have been from the C-section.”

A spokesman for Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very sorry to hear of Ms Gurney’s experience and although we are unable to comment upon individual patient’s care we would advise her to get in touch with the hospital if she has any concerns about the care that she received.

Necrotising fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is a rare but sometimes deadly bacterial infection that affects tissue under the skin as well as muscles and organs.

It’s often known as the “flesh-eating disease”, although the bacteria that cause it do not “eat” flesh, but release toxins that damage nearby tissue.

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.

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
  • a high temperature (fever) and other flu-like symptoms
  • swelling and redness in the painful area – the swelling will usually feel firm to the touch
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • dark blotches on the skin that turn into fluid-filled blisters


“We take the concerns of our patients very seriously and would like to discuss with her further how her infection might have been caused.”

Claire says she plans to contact a solicitor for advice on what action to take.

We told earlier this month how another mum in New York was struck down by the exact same infection after giving birth.

Krista Parise, 32, gave birth to her son, Sal, earlier this year, but just hours after being discharged, the mum realised something wasn’t right.

She woke up the next morning with a slight fever which skyrocketed to almost 39 degrees in just a couple of days.

The mum also began to suffer with excruciating pain around her stomach, which started to feel hot to the touch.

She said: “It felt like I was on fire almost. My mum had a C-section before and she knew it wasn’t normal.

“On Thursday, I couldn’t even walk. I was lying in bed and my mum babysat my kid in her house.”

Krista then discovered puss-filled blisters across her abdomen.

She was rushed into an isolated room within the ward where nurses took samples to try and understand what was causing the infection.

Not long later, she was taken into surgery for a life-saving procedure, where she was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis.

Claire with her tiny newborn after she gave birth

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