A father-of-three ended up in a medically-induced coma for 17 days and had his toes amputated after he contracted a life-threatening flesh-eating bacteria.
Scott Mattison, of Boise, Idaho, developed flu-like symptoms in early February 2019 that kept him laid up in bed.
After four days, the 42-year-old also began complaining of pain in his right leg and went to the ER, reported KIVI TV.
Medical staff performed several tests including a flu test, which came back negative, when Mattison’s right leg began turning a purple color. In just a few hours, he went into septic shock.
Doctors diagnosed Mattison with necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that destroys tissue under the skin – and realized that to stop the infection from spreading, most of the skin on his right leg would have to be removed, and the tips of his right toes would have to be amputated.
Scott Mattison, 42, of Boise, Idaho, developed flu-like symptoms in early February 2019. Pictured: Mattison with his wife, Robyn, and their three daughters
After complaining of pain in his right leg, Mattison rushed himself to the ER. Within hours he went into septic shock. Pictured, left and right: Mattison at the University of Utah Burn Center in February 2019
The diagnosis was a shock to Mattison’s family. The father-of-three is an avid mountain climber and biker and has hiked to the high point of 32 out of the 50 US states.
Neither his wife nor his doctors have an explanation for how he contracted the bacteria.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection that quickly kills surrounding tissue.
The exact cause of the infection is unknown, but it can enter the body through the tiniest cut or scrape in the skin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 700 and 1,200 cases occur in the US each year.
Early symptoms include a red or swollen area of the skin and severe pain. Later symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, blisters and change in skin color.
The health agency says that a prompt diagnosis and rapid treatment is key to stopping the infection in its tracks.
This includes antibiotics or surgery when medication is unable to reach the tissue that has already been infected.
The CDC says about 25 to 30 percent of necrotizing fasciitis cases every year result in death.
After 10 hours of waiting in the ER, Mattison was transferred to the medical intensive care unit.
Mattison was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria that destroys tissue under the skin. Pictured: Mattison after his skin graft surgery
Doctors performed several surgeries to stop the infection from spreading before Mattison (left and right) was airlifted to the University of Utah Burn Center. He had 90 percent of his right leg removed and skin grafted and the tips of his right toes had to be amputated
It was then that his inner right thigh began turning purple and was surrounded by red blisters.
After a general surgeon removed the infected tissue in his right leg, and he was in recovery, Mattison went into septic shock, which occurs when a dramatic drop in blood pressure stops blood flow to the organs and can result in death.
He was intubated and underwent six surgeries in one week to stop the infection from spreading, reported KIVI TV.
After Mattison was stabilized, he was airlifted to the University of Utah Burn Center, when he underwent five more debridement surgeries to remove infected tissue.
Mattison was in a medically-induced coma for a total of 17 days.
Doctors removed 90 percent of the skin on Mattison’s leg, from his hip to his ankle, and used skin grafts from his right thigh and front torso to close the wound, according to a GoFundMe page.
‘I basically have my entire right leg skin grafted, and my entire left side is where they took the skin from,’ he told KIVI TV.
The tips of Mattison’s toes on his right foot also had to be amputated.
Mattison was in a medically-induced coma for 17 days and has undergone at least 13 surgeries. Pictured: Mattison with his daughters at Bull Trout Lake in Idaho, July 2018
The father-of-three spent 12 weeks in the ICU before he was transferred to the University of Utah Hospital Rehabilitation Facility for physical and occupational therapy. Pictured: Mattison intubated and in a coma, February 2019
He was discharged at the end of May. Despite needing regular wound care and physical therapy, Mattison remains optimistic. Pictured: Mattison at home in Idaho
The father-of-three spent 12 weeks in the ICU before he was transferred to the University of Utah Hospital Rehabilitation Facility for physical and occupational therapy.
Mattison was finally discharged at the end of May and returned to his family’s home in Boise.
Currently, the Mattisons have a nurse who visits the home to provide wound care but, eventually, that responsibility will fall to his wife, Robyn.
And although Mattison’s right leg is still in a great deal of pain, he remains optimistic.
‘I’m hopeful,’ he told KIVI TV. ‘I know the wounds will heal.
The family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of Mattison’s medical bills.
So far, more than $39,000 has been raised out of a $50,000 goal.