Mum 'lucky to be alive' after catching flesh-eating bug while swimming

Marie Claire Dorking
·4 min read
A woman who contracted a flesh-eating bug while swimming says she is 'lucky to be alive'. (SWNS)
A woman who contracted a flesh-eating bug while swimming says she is 'lucky to be alive'. (SWNS)

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.

Watch: A British woman claims she nearly had to have her leg amputated after she caught a flesh eating bug when she had cut price 'thigh gap' surgery in Turkey.

Read more: Mum who lost all four limbs to sepsis will soon be able to hug her children thanks to bionic arms

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.

Lou Trott with her daughters, Alayna and Maysa, before the infection. (SWNS)
Lou Trott with her daughters, Alayna and Maysa, before the infection. (SWNS)

“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. 

Read more: Baby loses his limbs to sepsis following an undiagnosed throat infection

Lou Trott had to have several operations on her leg after contracting sepsis. (SWNS)
Lou Trott had to have several operations on her leg after contracting sepsis. (SWNS)

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.”

Read more: Teacher, 29, back in the classroom after being treated for rare brain tumour

Lou Trott recovering in hospital. (SWNS)
Lou Trott recovering in hospital. (SWNS)

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.

Read more: What is sepsis and what are the early signs and symptoms to look out for?

Lou Trott running before the infection. (SWNS)
Lou Trott running before the infection. (SWNS)

“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.