Charlie Stewart was looking forward to getting out of the nursing home in time for his 60th birthday. On his planned release day, in late 2012, the Long Island facility instead called Stewart’s wife to say he was being sent to the hospital with a fever.
When his wife, Jeanne, met him there, the stench of rotting flesh made it difficult to sit near her husband. The small wounds on his right foot that had been healing when Stewart entered the nursing home now blackened his entire shin.
“When I saw it at the hospital … I almost threw up,” Jeanne Stewart said. “It was disgusting. I said, ‘It looks like somebody took a match to it.’ ”
Doctors told Stewart the infection in his leg was poisoning his body. To save his life, they would have to amputate above the knee.