A woman who was placed into a coma after contracting a flesh-eating bug while swimming says she is "lucky to be alive".
Keen runner Lou Trott, 51 from Westbury, Wiltshire, tripped and cut her knee while out jogging on holiday in Mallorca in summer 2019.
She later went for a swim in the sea, which is when flesh-eating bacteria, necrotising fasciitis, managed to enter her system.
Following her return to England, Trott developed sepsis, suffered multiple organ failure and had to be put in a medically induced coma for around a week.
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Doctors had to operate on Trott's leg multiple times in order to remove the harmful bacteria.
She also had to learn to walk again - a process that took several months - and is due to undergo further operations in the future to tighten up the skin on her leg.
“It’s been horrific – I couldn’t believe it was me there lying down, dying,” Trott explains.
“The consultant said 70% of patients who had what I had die.
“The skin graft felt like a swarm of bees or wasps landed on my leg and all stung me at the same time," she continues.
Trott says no matter what pain relief she was given she could still feel the pain, but she was determined to fight on for her family.
"There’s a lot to live for – I didn’t want my children to be without a mum,” she says.
After returning home from her summer holiday, Trott began to feel unsteady on her legs and decided to get checked out by her GP.
On her arrival, doctors released the severity of the situation and called for an ambulance.
Although her memories are still fuzzy, the mum says she remembered hearing people crying while she waited to be seen in Bath Royal United Hospital.
“Although the nurses and doctors were amazing, the experience in ICU was really, really traumatic," she says.
“I could hear nurses talking to my family about amputation. I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t.
“I was lying there and all I could hear was a lady crying next to me saying to her husband: ‘I wasn’t ready for you to go'.
“I thought I was going to the ‘death section’ too – I was so frightened.”
Trott was placed in an induced coma on 19 July, and believes she woke up on or around 25 July.
Once she was able to stand, Trott then had to learn how to walk again. Despite only managing two or three steps at a time in the beginning, she is now back running again.
The mum-of-two says being able to run has helped her get over her PTSD and she has already completed several challenges for charity, including a half-marathon.
“I saw this challenge of a run for prostate cancer,” she added.
“My dad died four years ago from prostate cancer so this was close to my heart.
“I want to give something back to help other charities and hopefully they’ll never be in the same situation my dad was in.
“My fitness saved me," she adds. "That’s why I always think I’ve got to stay fit. I used to cry when I was running because I couldn’t believe I was doing it.”
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Additional reporting SWNS.