Father-of-four nearly dies after ingrown hair suddenly escalates to flesh-eating disease ‘within hours’
- A father of four is suddenly stricken with a flesh-eating disease
- Shawn Dell had an ingrown hair that led to a stay in ICU
- The former military veteran contracted necrotizing fasciitis
- WARNING: GRAPHICS
A father of four young children fought for his life after an ingrown hair on his neck turned into a deadly carnivorous beetle “within hours.”
Shawn Dell woke up feeling ill on Sunday and his wife Kat called an ambulance to rush him to Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital when she realized his condition was deteriorating.
The ‘fit, active and healthy’ father from North Lakes, in the north of Brisbane, was taken to intensive care where he was immediately sedated.
It was discovered that the military veteran, who served in Afghanistan, had contracted necrotizing fasciitis – a condition that eats away at the flesh under the skin.
The rare condition can lead to sepsis, shock, organ failure and death, and affects only one in 100,000 people.
Shawn Dell (pictured, with his wife Kat) woke up on Sunday feeling ill and his wife called an ambulance when she realized his condition was getting worse
Ms Dell said the whole experience was “so overwhelming” as she tried to stay strong for her family during this difficult time (pictured, the couple with their four children)
Mrs. Dell told Yahoo News Australia the whole experience was “overwhelming” while also trying to stay strong for her children.
Friend of the family Anna Richards said Mr Dell also suffered a heart attack at home without knowing it, as well as a blood clot which has since been removed.
She said the skin infection started when he started picking at an ingrown hair on his neck, which allowed bacteria to enter his body and release toxins into the bloodstream.
This made him feel extremely ill ‘within hours’.
He has had three surgeries since Sunday to clear up the infection, removing “extremely dead tissue.”
The rare condition (pictured, a stock image) can lead to sepsis, shock, organ failure and death and only affects one in 100,000 people
“Shawn has had his skin removed from his collarbone to his neck, under the jaw, to the opposite collarbone and to his chest plate, this also included a piece of muscle from his neck,” Ms Richards said on a GoFundMe page set up to support the couple.
Mr. Dell remains in the hospital with his family and friends around him.
Ms Richards said the money raised will be used to run the household with their four children, Jagger, Jordi, Ella and Jackson, while Ms Dell focuses on her husband’s recovery.
The crowdfunding venture has so far raised $19,445, surpassing its $15,000 goal.
Ms Richards described Mr Dell as a ‘gentle giant’ who is selfless and would do ‘absolutely anything for his family and friends’.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare and very serious infection. It can spread rapidly in the body and lead to sepsis, shock, organ failure and death.
Necrotization means the death of tissues. Fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia, collagen-based soft tissues that surround muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels.
It occurs when bacteria invade the soft tissue and fascia.
It multiplies rapidly, releasing toxins and enzymes that cause blood clots to form in the arteries.
This leads to the death of the tissues in your skin and muscles and the tissues under your skin.
Prompt and accurate diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis and prompt treatment with antibiotics and surgery are critical to stopping this infection before it causes serious damage or death.
Strep A are common bacteria found on the skin, including the skin near the anus, genitals, and throat.
They can penetrate the skin through cuts, lacerations, abrasions, burns, insect bites, puncture wounds (including from needles and cannulas), and surgical wounds.
Even minor wounds such as a sting from a rose thorn or a mosquito bite can allow Strep A to pass through the skin. People can get necrotizing fasciitis after blunt trauma that doesn’t break the skin.
Source: Queensland Health