Dr. Volk's Case

Phylogenetic Tree
Habitat and Diseases
Dr. Volk's Case


Dr. Volk had Streptococcus pyogenes as necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) in his foot.  He acquired this bacteria on January 21, 2005.  He was hospitalized for three weeks at St. Francis in La Crosse, Wisconsin and then spent another week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  Dr. Volk was finally able to return home on February 17, 2005.  A combination of physical therapy and whirl pooling were done until the middle of May.  Starting out, he was barely able to stand and then he progressed from there to walking with a walker, walking with a cane, and finally walking without any assistance.  In some areas of the wound, it was more than one centimeter deep.  An ace bandage was used to keep the swelling of the foot down.  By April 10th, some of the shallower began to close up.  On May 5th, fifteen weeks after getting the bacteria, the majority of the wounds have closed up.  Since the wounds closed up on their own, the doctors said he would not need skin grafts.  Dr. Volk's ankle and toes were immobile for so long, so physical therapy focused on getting flexibility back in the foot.  On June 1st, the wounds were still not completely closed, but very close.  The area that were not closing up was located on his ankle, so walking would continually irritate it and open it back up.  Dr. Volk tried many different things to get it to heal up; different bandages and even just wearing slippers to not irritate it.  On February 1, 2006, almost a year after his surgery, there was still a small opening on the outside of his ankle that had not healed.

As you can tell from Dr. Volk's case, Streptococcus pyogenes is a serious bacterial infection.  It takes a very long time to heal and can be very dangerous.  If you would like to know more specific details click here.  Also, visit http://tomvolkfungi.net/ to learn about fungi and tons more.



Caution: extreme pictures beyond this point!  For those with strong stomachs only.




This picture is one of the early pictures taken of Dr. Volk's foot.  The picture was taken before he had surgery to remove the areas with the Streptococcus pyogenes.


This picture was taken on February 18th, near a month after he found out he had the flesh eating bacteria.  The doctors had to remove a large majority of skin from his foot.

This picture was taken on February 22nd.  As you can see, between the picture before and this one, the healing process had begun.

This picture was taken on May 2nd.  The foot is still severely swollen, different colored, and not fully healed.

This picture is of Dr. Volk's foot now.  The wounds have healed, but his ankle and toes still remain stiff.

All pictures are courtesy of Dr. Volk.

Information on this page is from Dr. Volk's webpage (http://tomvolkfungi.net/).