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Mum's face 'falls off' after tripping over dog and landing on her nose

Mum's face 'falls off' after tripping over dog and landing on her nose

She needed a skin graft after tripping over her dog while out jogging

A woman who tripped over her dog while out jogging and landed on her face says she’s been unable to leave the house for two years after her cut became infected and caused half her face to ‘fall off’.

Shelley Puchalsky was out for a bit of exercise with her shih tzu Chloe in September 2019, when she fell face first onto the ground and suffered cuts and grazes to her nose and forehead.

The mum-of-two had the cuts stitched up, but they refused to heal - so she visited a plastic surgeon six weeks later who told her she would need to undergo a skin graft to put the skin back together.

Shelley Puchalsky didn't leave the house for two years following the accident.
Kennedy News and Media

However, things took a turn for the worse for Shelley who ended up with a massive infection that ‘ate away’ at her face, leaving her with a large hole in her forehead.

Shelley, a PhD student, was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, a bone infection in her skull, in November 2020, and then later contracted potentially deadly sepsis.

In February the following year, Shelley was cut from 'ear to ear' to rejig her skin graft and remove the infected areas.

Now more than a year on, Shelley says she’s left ‘cringing’ at her appearance and avoids going out in public.

She had to undergo a skin graft.
Kennedy News and Media

Shelley, of St. Pete Beach, Florida, US, said: “My skin was just falling off the bone because it was so infected. It was terrible.

"It had eaten through my skin down to the bone. There was a huge mango-sized hole in my forehead that just kept getting bigger and you could actually see down to the bone.

"There was a spot on my nose with no skin on it. The skin on my forehead was all the way gone, it started going up into my scalp and moving [my] hair, just chunks of skin and hair.

"It was like draining pus and it never closed up. A part of my hair was gone and you could see the entire top part of my scalp, it was just blood. Everything was gone.

Shelley said her skin was falling off the bone.
Kennedy News and Media

"I probably didn't go out in public for two years, I still don't go out much, every now and then. I try to time it really early in the morning or late at night."

Shelley claims that when she visited the plastic surgeon her wounds visibly looked infected and they didn't run any tests to determine whether or not she had an infection.

She’s since launched a fundraiser to cover the cost of reconstructive surgery including having her forehead re-lowered to its original position, volume in her cheeks restored and laser to fix her texture from scarring.

She’s hoping to have the surgeries before tying the knot to her partner David Miller later this year.

Shelley is now fundraising to undergo further surgery.
Kennedy News and Media

Shelley said: "I'm very introverted about it because I still feel very wounded and protective because I'm still dealing with a lot of hurt because I feel like what happened, didn't have to happen.

"I feel lucky to be alive, I've seen other stories of people who've had sepsis who've had it much worse off than me with missing limbs and I feel lucky to have walked away with what I have.

"Being able to raise the money would mean so much for me because I'd be able to find a surgeon that would be able to help me for that price.

"It would be a dream come true to have this surgery before my big day."

You can donate to Shelley’s fundraiser here.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Health