• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Minor scrape leads to major health crisis

October 15, 2017

patient Chris Gordon running in a race
A seemingly innocent scrape on the hand landed Chris Gordon in a fight for his life after it morphed into a serious infection of a flesh-eating bacterium known as necrotizing fasciitis.

The morning of March 18, 2017, started like many others for Chris Gordon. "I was helping my wife get our kids into the van for the morning," he says.

In the hurry and scurry, Chris scraped his hand on a garage wall. He didn't think much of it at first, but in the coming days, what seemed like a minor injury turned into a major health emergency. The scrape led to necrotizing fasciitis. Commonly known as flesh-eating disease, it's a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly through the body, killing all the soft tissue it finds along the way.

To rid his body of the life-threatening infection, Chris would be airlifted from his local hospital to Mayo Clinic and endure several surgeries. But as a result of the prompt and thorough care he received, Chris has returned to his active life.

"Basically, I can now do everything that I used to be able to do," he says. "The only caveat is that my right arm doesn't stretch as much as my left arm. But I'm back to running 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons, and carrying my kids around. I'm able to do anything and everything I want to again." Read the rest of Chris' story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.