Saturday 17 March 2018

Heart transplant woman 'eaten to death by mould'

Shelby Slagle
Shelby Slagle

Tom Embury-Dennis

A woman who received a life-saving heart operation was reportedly "eaten to death" by mould in her hospital bed.

Shelby Slagle underwent successful surgery in May 2015 but, less than two months later, she was dead after a fungal infection ravaged her body, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The 27-year-old was born with a hole in her heart and had been waiting all her life for a donor. After receiving the organ at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Ohio, all initially seemed well.

"She kept saying, 'I'm walking out of this hospital on July 4'," Laurie Amick, Mrs Slagle's mother, said. "She was definitely on the road to recovery."

Two weeks after the surgery, however, doctors noticed a bedsore on her buttocks had become infected. She began to undergo daily operations to remove infected tissue but the mould spread too quickly.

A week before she died, unable to talk, Mrs Slagle sent a text to her mother, saying: "Mum, I think I'm dying."

Mrs Amick recounted the horror of the weeks leading up to her daughter's death. "Eventually, she had to go to surgery every day. They would take out more tissue and removed most of her buttocks," she said.

"The infection had gotten so deep. It had eaten down through the skin, the muscle and started to get to the bone."

The disease was identified as rhizopus, a fungal infection that often results in death.


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