A mum has been warned she could lose both her legs after a tiny insect bite 13 years ago. Jorja Austin, 40, developed a rare skin condition after being bitten by a gnat on her right leg while mowing the lawn.
Now doctors have said the former administrative assistant may need both legs amputated after suffering a life-threatening attack of sepsis. Jorja was bitten by a gnat in 2009 while cutting grass at her home in Basildon, Essex.
Although it was just a ‘pinhole’, the bite never healed and two years later Jorja was diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenosum, a rare skin condition that causes excruciating ulcers . Jorja said: “I’ve been in agony for 13 years. At one point I could see the tendons in my legs.
“There is a risk that my legs will have to be amputated. But the doctors said the sepsis could be cured, so maybe I could have plastic surgery instead.
“I just hope the injuries get better. I’m crossing my fingers that everything works out.”
Jorja spent three weeks in Basildon Hospital after being rushed there with sepsis and falling into a coma for 12 days. Doctors now keep bandages on his lower legs, which are almost red from painful ulcers.
Recalling the insect bite that happened in 2009, Jorja said: “I was in the garden cutting the grass and I literally got four little bites on my leg, like holes pin.
“A bite never healed. When I went to the doctors they said it was fine, but it was getting bigger and bigger.
“I was diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenosum two years later. I was just one of those unlucky people.”
Jorja has two children, aged 12 and 16, who were taken into care when their mother’s health began to decline and authorities ruled her health meant she could not support herself. take care of them. Her supportive sister Paige Austin said: ‘She is the strongest person we have ever known and has been the rock of our family.
“She’s still fine but no one should be like this at 40.”