Garden horror: Father of two almost died of gardening when a flesh eating bacteria infected his finger

Steve Palmer, a doting father and loving husband almost lost his life when a flesh eating bacteria infected him while gardening. Steve and his wife were tidying their garden when Stave nicked his middle finger.

He ignored the little cut and continued working, but next day he felt that his finger was swollen. He shrugged it off as a minor cut and went to his father-in-law’s house where he felt that there is no movement in the finger and it is turning black. 

When the situation worsened his whole hand turned black and looked like mush, he was taken to the hospital by his friend where he found out that he was bitten by a bug and the infection was diagnosed as necrotising fasciitis by a flesh eating bacteria. 

Steve uploaded the image on Facebook and wrote a post to make the people aware, which stated, “ It was terrifying, it was like something from a horror movie. I could literally see my entire arm turning black.

“When the surgeon looked at my hand all the blood vessels in my knuckles had turned to mush.

“I just want to warn people to be careful and to wear gloves while gardening, particularly now that people will probably be spending more time in their gardens due to the coronavirus lockdown."

Steve was gardening with his wife Laura, 34, at their home in Polesworth, Warks., on March 7 when he cut his finger. 

He said: "Me and my wife were in the garden tidying up. 

“We live on the back of the River Anker which had flooded a couple of weeks earlier and messed the garden up a bit. We’d waited for the weather to get better so we could clean up. While I was clearing reeds which had been swept into the garden from the river I got a little nick on my finger.”

“I didn’t even notice it, I get little cuts all the time at work and just cracked on but there must have been all sorts of bacteria from the floods which got into the cut.The next morning I was meant to help my father-in-law do some cementing at his farm but when I looked at my middle finger it had swelled up and was red.”

“I felt a bit soft for saying I couldn’t help him but went round anyway and played with the kids and on the piano but I could hardly move my finger.

I said to Laura 'that's starting to look a bit infected. When I got home my knuckles were swollen and the infection had started to spread up my arm."

“The next day I was transferred to hand specialists at the QE in Birmingham where a surgeon told me again he thought it was sepsis.I was taken down to surgery and was operated on for four-and-a-half hours. When I came round doctors told me that they discovered it was actually necrotising fasciitis which is quite rare.

Steve is an air conditioning engineer and a father of two. The infected would have killed him, if he hadn’t rushed to emergency. However, the arm will take almost an year to be properly healed. 

He further said that, “The blood vessels under my knuckles were mush so the surgeons had to wash all of the infection away and pull down skin from my forearm onto the tendons before taking a skin graft from my leg onto my arm.”

“I was very lucky and could easily have died. The surgeons saved my life and my arm.

“I’m back home but I’ve been told it’ll take 10 to 12 months before I can hold tools again. I’ve got two per cent use of my hand at the moment. 

“It’s going to be a long long journey back to recovery. I just want to warn everyone now to wear gloves in the garden.

“It was a tiny cut I had on my hand but it was enough to let the bacteria in which almost killed me.”