Survivors of deadly, rare flesh-eating bacteria honored at Columbus program

(WTVM) - "I felt a lot of pain and I was rushed to the hospital."

On April 19 2016, a day which would change LaSonja  Hardaway's life forever.

"My body went into septic shock and when I woke up, my hands were like bricks," said Hardaway.  "They were heavy and dark and I couldn't move them."

Hardaway had just suffered a miscarriage and later contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis, a deadly and rare flesh-eating bacteria.

had to make a decision to amputate." Doctors told Hardaway and her family they had to amputate both her hands in order to stop the bacteria from spreading to her brain.

"Its still under investigation as to what caused it," said Hardaway.

Another Columbus native, Ashley Meadows, shares a similar experience to Hardaway. Meadows also suffered from Necrotizing Fasciitis just two months ago.

"It started on my thigh and went all the way up to my back," said Meadows. "You don't think something like that would really happen."

Medical professionals say the causes of the deadly bacteria are widely unknown, but if you do contract the bacteria 1 in 4 people die.

Meadows said her family and grandfather, former NAACP local chapter president, Edward Debose, were her strength through recovery.

"He was there every step of the way," said Meadows. "Everybody has been supportive, family friends, but him. He motivates me."

Hardaway says her fiancee was by her side every step of her battle. "I lived a wonderful life with my hands and my feet so now its time for technology to meet human life."

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