A Florida girl who tripped over her dog and landed on her nostril was unable to leave her home for 2 years — after the minimum became contaminated and half her face “fell off.”
39-year-old Shelly Puchalska mentioned that in September 2019, she and her Shih Tzu, Chloe, fell face down on the path and got cuts in her nostril and forehead.
Although the injuries are sutured, they would be medically difficult. Six weeks later, she visited a plastic surgeon for a pore and skin graft on her nostrils and eyebrows.
The mum-of-two claims that’s when the issues got worse when the infection ‘ate’ her pores and skin, leaving her eyebrow with a gap the size of a mango that grew into the bone. was discovered.
Shelley Pushalka, 39, of Florida, was walking her dog when she tripped and fell on her nose, tearing her nostril and forehead. After all, there was a mango-sized gap in her nostril that exposed the bone
Ms. Puchalska had a damaged pore and skin graft that left her with a severe infection and sepsis. The former actual estate agent mentioned that the infection became so extreme that it started “travelling” through her scalp, devouring pores and skin and hair on its way.
“I went to a doctor who said he could help me, so he did a skin graft on my nose and re-stitched my forehead,” Pusalska said.
During the process, she received a pore and skin graft from behind her ear, which took about 20 stitches on her nostril and another 20 on her eyebrow.
She mentioned her wounds then began to ooze pus and by no means close up, and the infection additionally ate away at her eyebrow.
“It was a botched operation. Looking back, I don’t think they realized it was infected when they put the skin graft on it and when I went back and let them know I wasn’t taken seriously,” she mentioned.
“Everything kept raging. My skin just fell off the bone because it was so infected. It was awful.
Mrs. Puchalska had a patch on her nose with no skin on it, and the skin on her forehead was almost completely gone.
The former real estate agent said the infection became so severe that it began “travelling” through her scalp, devouring pores and skin and hair in its path.
“I looked like a burn victim. The whole side of my face looked like it was burned and then the top of my scalp looked like a rash because there was no skin or hair,” she mentioned.
“I still have some days where I feel bad about myself, but it’s a process. I feel better today than I did a year ago,” said Ms Pusalski. “I know my face and scars will heal over time and look better than a year ago, I just have to tell myself.”
Ms Pusalski claimed that when she visited the plastic surgeon, her wounds appeared to be visibly contaminated and they did not normally perform any exams to see if she had an infection.
She was eventually diagnosed with osteomyelitis, a bone infection in her skull that can spread from the bloodstream or nearby tissues.
Then she developed sepsis, an overreaction to infection that affects 1.7 million Americans each year, based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, it kills 350,000 adults every year.
Then, in February 2021, Ms. Pučalska underwent a major surgical procedure during which she was maximally reduced from “ear to ear” to remove all contaminated areas. However, after that it became polluted again.
“I just knew my face, myself, and things would never be the same again,” she mentioned.
“I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I don’t often look in the mirror, I feel like I’m not the one looking back.
Ms. Puchalska’s incident is a degloving injury, a type of injury in which the top layers of skin are torn away from the muscle, connective tissue, or bone below.
The most common causes are usually related to industrial equipment such as construction and agriculture, as well as car and motorcycle accidents. a 2020 studyFor example, evaluated 188 patients with degloving injuries and found that 96 percent involved motor vehicles or machinery.
She also has anemia and autoimmune problems as a result of the infection. Originally from Delaware, she has been alone in Florida since last November, receiving specialized medical care and struggling with isolation.
The mother-of-two hopes to have reconstructive surgery before her wedding to 59-year-old David Miller in December. “It would be a dream come true to have this surgery before my big day,” she mentioned
“I haven’t been out in the community for probably two years,” said Mrs. Pusalski. “I still don’t go out much, now and then. I try to set it early in the morning or late at night.
In addition, she has avoided seeing anything, even her best friends in that particular person, because she was worried about what her face looked like.
“Only my very close friends have seen me in person. I don’t go out in public very often because I’m ashamed of my face, which is weird because I’m showing complete strangers on the internet,” she mentioned.
“I’m very introverted about it because I still feel very hurt and defensive because I’m still dealing with a lot of pain because I feel like what happened shouldn’t have happened.”
Ms. Puchalska now allocates $30,000 for a reconstructive surgical procedure, reducing the eyebrow back to its unique location, restoring cheek volume, and restoring pores and skin texture from scarring.
She hopes to do so before she and her fiance of eight years, David Miller, 59, tie the knot in December.
“It would be a dream come true to have this surgery before my big day,” she mentioned.
For now, Ms. Puchalsky’s goal is to get through the therapeutic course.
“I still have some days where I feel bad about myself, but it’s a process. I feel better today than I did a year ago,” she said.
“I know my face and scars will heal in time and look better than a year ago, I just have to tell myself that.”