’His leg was literally rotting away’
WARNING: Graphic content
A Melbourne man on a working holiday in Vietnam faced the battle of his life to save his leg after an "unlucky" incident while riding a scooter left him with a "gruesome" infection.
After living in Melbourne for five years, Ryan went to Vietnam to teach English for a two-month working holiday.
While in the country, the 28-year-old was involved in an incident that caused a "nasty" exhaust burn after a minor altercation on his scooter.
The burn on his leg looked manageable, and so instead of seeking medical assistance he continued to go to work for the week.
But after days of being unable to heal the injury, the burn turned in to a "nasty" infection and necrosis of his tissue.
Developing in to a severe case of cellulitis, the fast moving infection resulted in his leg tissue "literally rotting away".
"It was the most gruesome thing I have personally seen in my life," his sister, Charlotte, told news.com.au.
Ryan, who was admitted to hospital on his birthday before spending a week bedridden, underwent various antibiotic treatments and procedures to control the swelling and infection.
But after the infection failed to properly respond to the painful process, "he was in real danger of developing sepsis".
"This could have resulted in him losing a foot or even worse," his sister, Charlotte Webb, wrote on a GoFundMe page to help save money for his medical bills.
"The wound in his leg literally rotted to the bone. It was at this point he was sent into surgery where they burnt off the surrounding infected tissue and sealed it within a vacuum bandage connected to a tube into a pressure pump.
"Due to Ryan's asthma and low resting heart rate they refused to anaesthetise him during surgery, nor did they provide a topical anaesthetic, resulting in a very painful procedure.
"That combined with the other cleaning/bandage changing procedures that he has endured has made this an incredibly traumatic experience that will scar him for life."
Ms Webb said in the fundraising post that it has been difficult to understand the extent of her brother's injuries - which amount to over $10k - so decided to travel to Vietnam to ensure he was being treated with the medical care required to retain all his limbs.
"His treatment, termed negative pressure therapy, resulted in a further 10 days of being bedridden," she said of his condition.
"During this time where his leg was continuously connected to the pump it was constantly removing bacteria and fluids from the wound, as well as the constant pressure aiding to draw the wound closer together.
"As you can imagine this was very uncomfortable and debilitating."
On September 17, the pump was removed, and while the doctor is happy with how the wound is progressing and allowed Ryan to leave the hospital, Ms Webb said there was still a massive hole inside the wound.
"Now that Ryan is no longer connected to the vacuum, he is feeling a lot more positive," she said.
"I don't know how long all that could go on before they start to think about chopping off a limb, but it was certainly going down a very bad direction and fast.
"It is still going to be a slow road to full recovery with the possibility of skin grafts or follow up procedures but either way we will cross those bridges as we come to them.
Ryan's main concern has been his ability to return to work and stressing about how he can ever repay our mother."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical costs associated with the accident.
News.com.au has reached out to Ryan for comment.