A woman was left fighting for life from a cat scratch

A woman was left fighting for her life in a coma after contracting a deadly flesh-eating bug - from a cat scratch.

Shirley Hair, 65, almost died after her 'spiteful' Siamese cat, Chan, scratched her hand and the wound became infected.

Grandmother-of-five Shirley initially put her symptoms down to a bad bout of flu as she also felt dizzy, had no appetite, was confused and her muscles ached.

But Shirley was rushed to Southmead Hospital, Bristol, when the inflamed gash on her knuckle turned bright red and spread from her hand up her arm.

She was diagnosed with sepsis, septic shock, organ failure, pneumonia and Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) - a flesh-eating disease which results in the death of parts of the body's soft tissue and which can prove fatal.

Medics performed emergency surgery to remove the infected tissue from her hand before Shirley was placed in a medically-induced coma - to allow her body to rest whilst she recovered.

What happened to the cat?

Shirley spent five days in a coma, more than six weeks in hospital and underwent a series of operations and skin grafts. Now back at home in Winterbourne, Bristol, Shirley, has re-homed her £400 pedigree cat, Chan.

Shirley, a retired carer, who lives with her husband, Bob, 69, a former betting shop manager, said: "'That cat had always been spiteful, he was very expensive though!

''The day he scratched me I'd been gardening, I tried to pick him up for a cuddle but he wasn't having it.

''The scratch was quite deep, but I didn't think much of it until I started to get flu-like symptoms and totally lost my appetite.

''A doctor came out to see me and prescribed antibiotics, but after a few days I was feeling worse than ever.

'The medics were amazing, but even after the emergency surgery to remove the tissue, I just carried on deteriorating. I felt like I was going to die. I couldn't believe this could all happen from a simple scratch.''

''I feel like the luckiest woman alive! After all that happened I decided I really couldn't face Chan the cat anymore so my daughter Zoe volunteered to have him.

''She popped him in a basket and took him home to Wales on the train.

She loves animals and isn't really fazed by much at all.

''Our lovely golden Labrador Finn is glad to see the back of Chan too, after having his ears bitten constantly, he can relax now.''

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS