Mum gets incredibly rare flesh-eating bug while giving birth

Maggie Ashe developed an incredibly rare and deadly flesh-eating bug during the birth of two of her children – and has been left with crater-like depressions all over her body.

The 33-year-old mum-of-three from Blackpool says the bug, necrotising fasciitis, ate away at the fat and muscle in her stomach and hip.

Maggie Ashe now
Maggie says she feels too scared to have plastic surgery to improve the look of the scars (PA)

She says: “It looked like a shark bite.”

Following the birth of her youngest child Krystal in December last year, Maggie was in a coma for seven days and nearly died.

She suffers flashbacks from her ordeal and is too scared to have plastic surgery to improve the look of the scars she’s been left with.

How bacterial infection necrotising fasciitis ate away at Maggie Ashe's leg
The bacterial infection necrotising fasciitis ate away at her stomach (PA)

Bizarrely this is the second time she has developed the potentially deadly disease, which can be triggered by minor ailments such as chicken pox.

The birth of her eldest, Chantelle went smoothly. But in September 2010, while 34 weeks pregnant with her second baby Lucas, she noticed a pea-sized lump on her thigh.

“I didn’t know what it was,” she said. “But two days on it was dark and had grown to the size of a melon.”

The infection in Maggie Ashe's stomach
Maggie first developed the infection after giving birth to her son Lucas in 2010. (PA)

“I was taken to hospital and was so delirious I asked doctors to chop my leg off.”

Maggie fell unconscious and woke up 10 days later to find a huge area of infected flesh had been removed from her thigh and her baby Lucas had been delivered by emergency caesarean.

But it was another three days before she was allowed to see him as she still infectious. And she had to have a 12-inch skin graft to repair the crater left in her leg.

Maggie Ashe's scar on her hip from a flesh eating bug infection
The scar from the infection in her hip (PA)

Maggie initially thought things had run smoothly when she gave birth to youngest child Krystal last December. But days after Krystal’s birth, her stomach started blistering.

“It looked like something from a horror film,” she said. “I don’t remember anything else – I fell into a coma at hospital.”

Medics are baffled as to why she developed the bug twice, and Maggie  says the whole experience has left her fearing the extensive cosmetic surgery she’d need to repair her badly damaged skin.

Maggie Ashe and her three kids
The family now (PA)

A spokesman from Public Health England said: “Necrotising fasciitis is a bacterial infection that affects the soft tissue and fascia (a sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue separating or binding together muscles and organs).

“It can occur following a cut or some other opportunity for the bacteria to enter the body, such as surgery. NF is a rare but serious condition.

“One of the early signs is intense and severe pain which may seem out of proportion to any external signs of infection on the skin. There may be a small cut or scratch on the skin, for example, but the pain will be very bad. Then they can fall unconscious as the infection develops.”

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