A man’s legs and fingers were amputated after he contracted sepsis from his dog’s saliva.
The nightmare began for Jaco Nel when he got a tiny cut on his hand while playing with his dog Harvey and then got infected by bacteria in his Cocker Spaniel’s saliva.
‘I started to feel hot and cold. I was shivering yet I could not get warm,’ the 50-year-old from Chorlton, Manchester, said.
‘My whole body was aching. I thought it was the flu so I went home to bed.’
But Mr Nel’s condition quickly deteriorated and his partner Michael eventually called paramedics and he was taken to hospital.
He was immediately taken to intensive care and put into a coma after collapsing when he arrived at A&E and was only given a 20 % chance of living after being diagnosed with sepsis.
The condition would later cost him both his legs and all of the fingers on one hand after gangrene set in.
He added: ‘I was lying there in hospital looking at my black, gangrenous legs and fingers. Looking down I knew I was going to lose everything.
‘I could tell the tissue was dead.’
Mr Nel before he was infected with sepsis Courtesy: MEN
Things are now looking up for the psychiatrist, who moved from South Africa in 2001, after he learned to walk again with the use of prosthetic legs 18 months on from the infection.
But he’s still finding it difficult to deal with his facial disfigurement.
He added: ‘I am very reluctant to go out because I am so self-conscious.’
‘While it hasn’t stopped me completely from living independently, it has damaged my confidence.
‘The hardest part has been accepting that I am now disfigured and that there is nothing I can do about it.’
Mr Nel decided to have Harvey put down after becoming worried about the dog infecting someone else.