Skateboarder pulls through after flesh eating infection
Heloise Archambault, QMI Agency
First posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 03:51 PM EST | Updated: Sunday, December 14, 2014 04:03 PM EST
LAVAL, QUE. - For skateboarders, injuries come with the territory. Where most come away from falls with bruises or at worst, a broken bone, Raphaella Vaillancourt's tumble resulted in a battle with a flesh-eating virus.
"I was really lucky," she admitted. "I could have died."
The 17-year-old first started practicing on her longboard in May. After only two weeks of practice, she found herself on the ground after trying to ride down a hill.
"I misjudged the slope," she said. "I was going really fast, so I wanted to jump off my board. But I fell forward, chin first. I didn't have time to put my hands out to protect myself."
While she thought she was getting away with a few stitches and cracked teeth, within days, her neck started to swell and purple spots appeared. That's when she decided to go to the hospital.
"They saw me in triage. Two minutes later, I was in the operating room," she said. "When they opened my throat, they realized I had caught a flesh-eating bacteria. They still don't know where I got it from."
To keep the infection from spreading, doctors removed a neck muscle and replaced a nerve in her mouth. In total, she spent three weeks in a coma and lost 20 pounds.
Raphaella counts herself lucky despite the large scar across her neck. As for skateboarding, she refuses to put any blame on her board.
"My parents wanted to throw it away, but I insisted on keeping it," she said. "I could have fallen off my bike. It's just bad luck."
Skateboarder pulls through after flesh eating infection | Canada | News | Toront
I hope they find a vaccine.