A man is still enduring the effects of an ingrown hair more than three years later, as the common annoyance resulted in his fighting for his life.
Jawaun Brown, 37, from Ohio had an ingrown hair on his right leg. He fell ill, and figured he just had a cold.
“I was shaking, vomiting and shivering, but I wasn't worried,” he recalled, as reported by The Daily Mail.
However, his flu-like symptoms were the result of necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease caused by bacteria that entered Brown’s body through the ingrown hair.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is a serious infection that spreads throughout the body quickly and kills its soft tissue. This condition can become life-threatening in a short period of time, so a correct diagnosis, antibiotics injected through a vein, and prompt surgical procedures are essential to curtail the disease.
This infection is most commonly obtained through a break in the skin, and is not connected to similar infections in other people.
Brown’s first indication that something was seriously wrong came after he collapsed at his mother’s home.
“I was drifting in and out of consciousness in the ambulance,” he recalled.
Once he was brought to the hospital, he was told that if he had arrived a few hours later, he would not have survived the infection. Brown briefly died during the six-hour operation before doctors resuscitated him.
After the surgery, Brown was still very ill. During his first two weeks at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, he was in a medically-induced coma while undergoing various skin grafts.
“I needed time to recover,” Brown explained. “It was mid-July - but I thought it was June. I couldn't understand where the time had gone.”
Brown spent four months in the hospital. It wasn’t until a few months after his dismissal that he could walk on his own. Nevertheless, the time he was bedridden left him with cuts and sores on his feet.
“I had a relapse this year - a callus fell off my foot, which has left me unable to walk,” he explained.
Nevertheless, Brown is in good spirits and hopes to write a book about his experience.
"I was lucky to neither lose my leg nor die,” Brown said. “But it's had a lasting impact.”