A mum-of-one was left “just minutes away from death” after catching a flesh-eating bug following a £20,000 liposuction treatment.
Jayney Nascimento underwent plastic surgery to have skinnier legs, but they almost had to be amputated as necrotising fasciitis ate away at them.
The 48-year-old was left fighting for her life in a medically-induced coma for two days and when she came to a doctor told her that she was on death’s door and “lucky to be alive”.
Now recovered but scarred for life, Jayney, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said she regrets undergoing liposuction and she hates her legs “more now than I did before the operation”.
The administrator had borrowed £20,000 from her mum Diane Powell, 72, a retired pharmacist, for the procedure in June 2017.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
She said: “I paid for an expensive cosmetic procedure so I would feel comfortable showing my legs off. Instead, I nearly lost them and I hate them more now than I did before the operation.
“Having the surgery is my biggest regret because I nearly died and have been left scarred for life.
“However, I am grateful to be alive and that my daughter still has her mum.”
In June 2005, Jayney was diagnosed with Lipoedema, a chronic condition where there’s an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks.
Her legs ballooned three times their size, going from a size 10 to a 16.
She said: “For 12 years I felt absolutely ridiculous. My legs were a size 16 while my top half was a size 10.
“I refused to wear dresses or skirts as I was just too embarrassed. I even wore trousers when the weather was scorching.
“I dreamed of having skinny legs and wearing a bikini.”
Without a cure, Jayney opted to have the two-hour operation.
She said: “Afterwards my legs were in agonising pain, but I was so excited to see my skinny pins.
“Doctors discharged me from the hospital.
“Within a few hours of arriving home, the pain in my legs became excruciating.
“The next day, my body felt ice-cold even though I was wrapped up in blankets.
“I worried that I’d contracted an infection, but I put it down to the medication making me feel weird so I didn’t speak to a doctor.”
Three days passed and Jayney’s health deteriorated.
Her daughter, Jasmine Nascimento, 14, discovered her passed out in bed and called an ambulance.
Jayney said: “I woke up in hospital, I thought I’d been only unconscious for an hour.
“A doctor told me I’d been in an induced coma for two days. He said I’d caught necrotising fasciitis which had eaten away at my legs.
“He also said I’d been just minutes away from death and was lucky to be alive.
“I burst into tears.”
Necrotising fasciitis is a disease where bacteria releases toxins that damage the tissue.
Jayney said: “Mum revealed that doctors wanted to amputate my legs while I’d been unconscious but they managed to stop the infection spreading.
“I felt so thankful to have survived but couldn’t believe that a simple procedure had done this.”
For three days, Jayney refused to see her legs. When she finally saw them for the first time she felt sick.
She said: “My right leg had no flesh so I could see my bones, they were black and smelt foul.
“My left leg had had skin grafts, but there were holes everywhere.
“It looked like reptilian skin.
“I’d undergone liposuction to make me feel more confident about my legs, now they were half-eaten.”
During the next month, Jayney underwent 20 skin grafts on her right leg and then started physiotherapy.
Three weeks later, in August 2017, Jayney was finally sent home after being in hospital for two months.
She said: “I was forced to use a zimmer frame as I couldn’t walk, and had to move in with mum as she had an electric stairlift.
“Thankfully, my friend agreed to look after Jasmine, but it was horrible being away from her.”
It took Jayney three months to learn to walk again and she moved back home in December 2017.
She was forced to quit her job at a support worker at a children’s care home. She got a desk job as an administrator.
Jayney said: “Strangers stared at my legs whenever I wore a skirt or dress.
“All I wanted was skinny legs and now my legs were completely scarred.
“My plans for swimsuits and holidays after my liposuction disappeared.
“Now it’s been two years since I caught NF.
“My amazing daughter is helping me gain my confidence back by taking me out and complimenting me all the time.
“I’ve also met a new partner, who also tells me I’m beautiful every day.
“I want other people to know about NF and recognise the symptoms I had.
“I have PTSD from what happened, but I am just trying to stay positive and be happy that I am alive.
“I paid £20,000 for surgery but almost paid the ultimate price, my life.”