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The doctors at Monica's hospital thought she might be infected with a deadly strain of bacteria. They flew her to a hospital in Boston where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating bacteria. Defying the odds, Monica survived, but many of her organs didn't. The doctors removed Monica's uterus, ovaries, gallbladder and part of her colon that same day.
Within four weeks, Monica's infection had restricted the blood flow to her arms and legs. Her nurses cleaned her limbs every day, and she knew they were trying to keep her from seeing the damage. But Monica wanted to face the disease head on. "I needed to know what I was up against. I didn't want to be shielded anymore," Monica says.