Flesh-eating bacteria patient talks with CBS46 - CBS46 News


Flesh-eating bacteria patient talks with CBS46

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A Gainesville woman is awake from a medically-induced coma and talking exclusively with CBS46 News about her battle with flesh-eating bacteria.

Tamika Compton, 25, was admitted into Northeast Georgia Medical Center nearly two weeks ago. Since then, she's undergone four surgeries.

The bacteria cost her about a third of her right arm, mostly in the removal of muscle and tissue. However, Compton said she's just grateful to be alive.

"This changes everything. I'm grateful for life; I'm grateful for the small things. I'm happy just to be here," said Compton.

Compton's ordeal started with her bumping her arm. At the time, it seemed so trivial, she said she doesn't even remember exactly how it happened.

"I can't say exactly whether it happened at home or outside. Wherever it happened, it was just a break in the skin, and I'm just that one in a millionth person who just happened to get the bacteria."

The following day, she went to the doctor. She was diagnosed with tendonitis and sent home.

However, within two days, her arm had swelled three times its size, and Compton was bed-ridden.

"It went from just my arm to feeling lightheaded and sick and dizzy," Compton said.

Compton was rushed to the E.R. and diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria.

For nearly a week, she was in a medically-induced coma undergoing surgery after surgery. Her family was told she would likely lose her arm, possibly even her life.

Last week, defying the odds, she opened her eyes.

"When I woke-up and I saw I had my arm, and I can wiggle my fingers and it works, I was just so grateful," Compton said.

Compton faces more surgery and months of therapy.

"I'm not sure when it's going to be back 100 percent, if it's ever going to be back 100 percent, but I'm not worried about that. I'm just glad it's there and what it does do, and I'm grateful for that," Compton said.

Her family and friends have set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for medical bills. It's called "The Tamika Compton Fund." Her brother also plans a benefit hip-hop and rap concert at Masquerade in Atlanta Oct. 17.

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