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Flesh Eating Disease Leave Woman Fighting For Life

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Surgeons Remove 24 Pounds of Skin From Woman To Rid Flesh-Eating Disease

Billi-Jo Whitlock had surgery on her abdomen in 2004, but shortly afterwards, she developed an infection and has been battling for her life ever since.

Whitlock, 38, of Hibbing, Minn., developed a rare flesh-eating bacteria disease known as Necrotizing Fasciitis.

To rid her of this, surgeons removed 24 pounds of skin, flesh, tissue and cells.

“They gutted me down to my vital organs,” Whitlock said.

“I woke up and it had eaten me from my breasts to my thighs.”

::billi jo whitlock before Flesh Eating Disease Leave Woman Fighting For Life::billi jo whitlock after Flesh Eating Disease Leave Woman Fighting For Life::

After the operation, she endured 9 hours of bandage changes everyday, the doctors gave her a three percent chance of survival.

Whitlock’s wounds finally healed after three years, but she then faced another problem – serious malnutrition.

“With the malnutrition and malabsorption, the protein, everything is being eaten out of me, the body is eating everything alive to heal itself so it leaves me with nothing…
“Most of my teeth are gone or broken.”

Below is a news broadcast from September 2008.

Whitlock must now undergo an operation to fix her teeth and jaw bone, so she can begin to eat regular food.

But Whitlock’s health insurance company has rejected the $85,000 operation, claim the procedure is ‘cosmetic.’

“I’ve tried to be courageous and positive and show my son I’m not a quitter and it’s hard at this point, they’ve now put a price tag on his mom, and since he’s been seven he’s been watching me die.”

Despite the rejected insurance claims, Whitlock’s supporters help her stay positive. The local community is rallying around her and her 12-year old son, there is also a benefit site (http://www.billi-jo.com )where people can donate money and read updates on Whitlock’s online diary.

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