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Authorities Find Neglected Woman's Leg Wound Covered in Maggots...but They Actually May Have Saved Her Life!


"...they were eating the rotting skin that was infected and helping to slow the infection."

(Image: Shutterstock.com)

It might seem counter-intuitive, but the hundreds of maggots found on an obese Seattle woman's open wound might have actually helped save her.

Seattle Post Intelligencer reported the 70-year-old, 400 pound woman being stuck to her bedsheets by the time authorities arrived, and medics said her wound, which was infected and gangrenous, was about a month old. Her daughter and primary caregiver, Sherrie Morton, has been charged with second-degree criminal mistreatment of a dependent person.

maggots (Image: Shutterstock.com)

A witness in court documents reported seeing the older woman four days before she was rescued, noting the flies in the room and the woman saying her legs were "burning." Seattle PI also reported the witness saying the day the woman was rescued that she “noticed ‘hundreds of maggots’ covering her exposed sores, describing it ‘like a horror movie,’” King County Sheriff's Det. Marylisa Priebe-Olson told the court. It was this witness who convinced Morton something was wrong and to call the authorities.

“The maggots may have helped keep [the woman] alive due to the fact that they were eating the rotting skin that was infected and helping to slow the infection,” Priebe-Olson said of a paramedic's statement, according to court papers.

Maggot therapy (or maggot debridement therapy) is actually a legitimate medical treatment when conducted purposefully in a medical setting. According to a review of the therapy published by the National Institutes of Health, this is an old, primitive method for clearing out wounds of tissue that could impede healthy growth and healing.

"The literature reviewed suggests that further comprehensive research into the mechanisms involved in larval therapy is required to ensure that it may be used to best medical advantage," the paper's abstract states.

Still, even in these conditions Seattle PI reported the woman saying she didn't find anything wrong with the care she had been given in her home. Morton, 46, also expressed to authorities that she felt she had been caring for her mother adequately.

The older woman was taken from the home by paramedics to a local hospital for treatment.

(H/T: Daily Mail)



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