Moving Pictures.

My doctor keeps jamming on his commitment to fork over the shots he took in surgery, the ones showing the necrotic tissue spreading across my leg.  Fuck it;  I’ve kept you waiting too long (only partially due to the above reason, granted; I’m also still comatose for a good chunk of the day), and I would be remiss in my educational mandate if I put this off any longer.

But I also seem to remember the occasional squeap from ‘crawlers who implored me not to present these epic photos, protests that the mere sight of  (let’s be honest) such ultimate beefcake shots might provoke reactions too visceral for mere mortals to withstand while retaining their cookies.  In deference to such candy-asses I will invoke, for the first time ever, this little “Behind the cut” option that hides the rest of the post from the squeamish.


(Credit for the following photographic excess resides both with Caitlin Sweet and Yours Truly.)

Here is what is left of my right leg after the estimable Dr. Beber burned it free of enemy strep:

That is not a striped bass embedded in the flesh;  that is my calf muscle.  It pulses and twitches and slides like some kind of terminator part when I wiggle my toes.

Here is a closer view.  Note the gap between muscle and sheath, a wide broad cave into the flesh almost big enough to spelunk:

That gap stretches halfway around the perimeter of the limb.  You can tell because the wound nurses stick long-handled Q-tips into the space and they almost disappear before jamming up against solid meat.

This is after a week or so of chaotic regrowth:  the striations have disappeared and the meatscape has been redecorated in a kind of “early Hamburger” motif:

Here is s0meone ripping stuff off the muscle (this hurts):

Here is someone jamming stuff back in (this hurts more):

And as a bit of a break from the unrelenting gruesomeness, here’s my main cat, Banana (not a Scottish Fold):

Some have called him “Adequate Cat”, but he is really so much more.

Here is Felicia, one of my home-care nurses, presenting her best Stephen Colbert “My Space-Disease-Afflicted Friend” pose:

That’s 3-in-1 oil she’s squeezing into the wound.  Keeps it lubricated.

Now we get to the high-tech stuff.  My leg was open and oozing and stuffed full of paper towels only for a couple of weeks, but the other day they brought in this VAC system.  You start by jamming various bits of white and black foam into the hole (it comes all sterile and shrink-wrapped and whatnot like it’s this magical elven healing-foam, but actually I think they get it from the same guys who make that foam rubber padding you find in boxes containing home electronics):

Then they tape up the hole until it’s airtight…

Fasten in this shower-drain thingy to a plastic aquarium hose…

Hook it up to this wearable battery-operated Hoovermatic that hangs around my neck like Darth Vader’s breastplate…

Then hit the switch with power cranked up to “Maximum Suck”:

The foam collapses down into the wound.  The wound itself sucks inward (this hurts like hell for about 30 seconds — then you just kinda forget about it).  The vacuum draws blood from surrounding tissues in to the site of the injury, which speeds healing, and after about two hours of continuous operation the first clots and globs of gore make it through the Land of the Foam and get slurped up through the hose into the 300-ml canister locked into the right side of the VAC unit (above).  That canister then fills slowly with chunky V-8 juice.  I do not know what they ultimately do with it, but I myself will be sticking with OJ from here on in.

And that’s pretty much it, until the whole thing springs a leak at 3a.m. and starts beeping alarm signals at you.  Home-care folks come by every three or four days to swap out the foam and to take the filled cartridges off to VersaFoods Cafeteria Services or wherever they end up, and I’m left to do very painful physio exercises to try and get my injured leg straightened out so that someday I can stand on it again.  Which is what I should do now.

Richard Morgan sent me balloons in the hospital.  I repurposed them back at the Magic Bungalow, as follows:

They make surprisingly effective tracking devices.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 1:58 pm and is filed under Flesh-Eating Fest '11, public interface. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

204 Responses to “Moving Pictures.”

  1. Deckard

    OK first, it works! The “more” thing I mean. Second, KEWL! ….sorry, I am sure there are parts that hurt like a sonofabitch, but your pictures and prose are fascinating … and about as close as I EVER want to get to that NF crap. Obviously you are out of the hospital – which has GOT to be a great change of pace – though I am not convinced the kitties are that thrilled about your return! Hope you mend quickly – take care.

  2. ScottC


    I’m so sorry, Peter. I hope the pain is diminishing.

  3. magetoo

    Well, we got what you promised. Now, this emptiness inside, is it that I am suddenly hungry from seeing all that meat, or is it something else?

    But more seriously, it’s surreal. I ought to be disgusted, but can’t seem to relate those meat-machine parts to a person (such as my own handsome self, or that Watts guy who writes books). And black foam?!

  4. Ajar

    Holy fucking shit. I don’t even… wow.

    I hope it heals as quickly and as effectively as possible.

  5. Edward

    Holy hell.

  6. Robert

    Banana looks like he’s hoping for a tidbit (shot 3 does look a bit like cat food)!

    Look after yourself, get well, and keep your spirits up. If it helps, some of my kids are going to be glad you’re on the mend.

  7. Cat Sparks

    that is the grossest thing I’ve ever seen

  8. Joris M

    Your leg looks like a victim in a tv crime show. Amazing, and I’m so very glad you live in a country where you actually get taken care for.

    It’s amazing what a human body can handle when treated properly with the correct medication. There are some interesting photos and footage of ‘recovered’ victims of the battles on the western front in WW I.

    Take care, keep the cats at a safe distance and get well!

  9. Andreas Fuchs

    Wow, you can see your calf muscle. Is that awesome or is that awesome?

    Anyway: Glad you made it. This will probably result in a very interesting scar (-:

  10. Russ Gray

    Wow. The miracle of modern medicine. It sounds like there’s even a decent prognosis, which is frankly amazing. You are a lucky man (he said from a country that doesn’t offer health care as a basic right).

  11. jmcdaid

    OMG, Peter. That looks so painful. I just hope you continue to heal. Cats help. And cats plus balloons, well, that’s got to be at least twice as effective.

  12. Bahumat

    My goddamn leg will not stop sympathy itching looking at that, argh.

    Get well soon, Peter!

  13. George Berger

    I hope that wound heals quickly and well, Peter. I’m not squemish, and while I hate to see you going through this, I find it interesting. Wonders of modern medicine indeed. It’s good to see it working right for you.

  14. Alehkhs

    Gods damn Watts! You are a beast!

    Keep up the healing, get better soon.

  15. Alan Baxter

    Fuck man, that is terrible and awesome all at the same time. Thanks for sharing and may the foam do its thing asap!


    For a moment there i was wondering why the muscle seemed to have a silver/orange shine to it.

    And i seem to have developed the same issue as Bahumat.

    i really do wonder what bio weapons lab this crazy bug escaped from, as i fail to see how eating ones host like that helps with survival of said bug.

    Oh and clever idea about reuse of those balloons.

    So, get well soon.

  17. Denni

    This is the alarming bit: I’ve seen those kinds of pics (before the treatments) on markets butchery slabs :{

    Never knew it was so bad. Refused to look it up.

    Oh man,I’m so glad you’re still with us!

  18. Kathryn

    Ahhhhhhhhhh! The cut does not work when reading via RSS feed.

  19. RedIndianGirl

    Holy fucking shit. Now that is seriously ten different kinds of ick. But dude — the major bragging rights for this shit — the mind boggles.

    But nice pix of Banana! And Banana’s special Takeshi Kovacs balloons.

    Home care nurses rule the universe, I loved every single one that came to my house.

  20. Brandy

    I come from several generations of medical people and I used to make educational videos used to train nurses…this is totally fascinating (and horrifying…..and horrifyingly fascinating). Thanks for sharing! I hope you heal quickly…no backsliding on those exercises, bub!

  21. Jamie

    You are fucking hardcore, that’s all I can say.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go puke my guts out…

  22. Nix

    Just checking. That hole took how long for the killer strep to eat in your flesh? Weeks? Days? Even less?

    (Behemoth is sounding a whole lot less scary. Yeah, sure, it kills you, but you never look like *that*. You just get weak and malnourished and die.)

  23. ScottC

    I believe Peter said once he became infected, the spread was measured in hours, not days. It’s extremely fast.

  24. Mirik Smit

    Whoa, that’s awesome and interesting…to look at, not to go through, I do understand, sir. Prefer it didn’t happen, of course. But now that it has, that’s amazing stuff.

    Very interesting stuff, I really hope you feel better soon so that you at least can function, read, have fun, etc. Alhough I gather the leg will need many more months (?) of tortuous repair, plus physical therapy to get walking again.

    Thanks for sharing! You should share your address (safely, somehow) so the whole of your fanbase can send you tracking devices!

  25. Kate Baker

    Okay, I was totally wrong. I thought I would be one of the wussies who tossed their cookies, but alas, it was highly intriguing. For what it’s worth, I am so sorry you had this happen and I cringe at thinking how painful things must be, but OMG — on the other hand, those pictures are just fucking amazing.

    Get better, Peter. *safety internet hugs*

  26. Hank Roberts

    Last I recall, a few posts back, you’d told us to quit worrying.
    Then I missed a bit and Metafilter points me to this today.

    Please, never tell us again to quit worrying.

    Need anything? Ask, please.

  27. Jim

    I’m guessing the white filament-looking part on the muscle is connective tissue? It looks a lot like the silverskin you have to remove from legs of lamb and the like (hey, it’s even the same body part).

  28. RK Bentley

    My dad recently had a leg amputated below knee then had to have a sore on his other heel de-braided and now is having skin put into the hole to fill it, suffice to say his wound vac treatment was nothing in compared to those pictures, wow.

  29. Hljóðlegur

    HOLY FUCKING CHRIST. How did you live? How did that much of your leg get eaten and you didn’t die? How is your leg still attached? *clutches head* It’s like a third degree burn.

    You poor baby; you poor baby.

    I’m horrified. And yet, if you posted more pictures of your continuing treatment, I would look at them utterly fascinated. You’re kind to post something that personal.


  30. asc


    There’s quite an anatomy lesson there. You can see the dermis, adipose tissue and muscle, and the infected fascia were the bits surrounding the muscle which had to be scraped out. The skin and adipose tissue which were removed must have been devascularized by the underlying infection, while as you note it also undermined a fair amount of still-viable tissue.

    The muscle looks completely intact. It’s going to leave a mark, but hopefully you’re on track for a good functional result ^^

  31. Mirik Smit

    Also related to Peter Wattsiness:

    Very scary doc on the G20 in Toronto where democracy was suspended, while police brutally assaulted protesters:

    Seems the power-hungry kinds of police officers that assaulted Peter at the US border were also plenty available in Toronto. God what a horrible state of affairs when police is here to make you NOT safe.

  32. Tom

    Best wishes & I hope you have the best possible recovery.

    The pictures are facinating. My 4 year old daughter thought it was interesting too.

    Now get better and don’t create any new educational opportunities!

  33. MaryL

    It looks as if you’re getting great care, even if some of it looks as if it came from the Rube Goldberg School of Medicine. Recovery and physio are painful now and will be painful for a while, but damn it, you made it.

    Thanks for the detailed posting. It’s caused my hypochondria to flare up a bit, but it’s also been incredibly educational. If your doctor ever provides surgery pictures, I’ll look at those, too.

  34. Nyth

    I feel kinda proud that I can look at that while eating cashew chicken and not feel upset at all…

  35. glenngrant


    Hoping you are soon vertical again and no longer cyborged to weird suction devices.

  36. TheEchoInside

    I’m afraid my first reaction was my artistic mind going, “I wish I could have seen it in person! I could have seen how the muscles change so I can draw legs more realistically!” So, yes, I am a horrible person destined for firey pits =P hehe

    But, have to say, I’m amazed you still have your leg, rather excellent that the expectation is so much recovery. Squishy meatsacks are awesome in their resilience.

    Good luck with the recovery and hope the pain is minimal!

  37. rosyatrandom

    The first thing I can tell you, Pete, is that RSS feeds ignore the Cut option. The second is that the affected region is about 5x the size I had guessed. The third is that ohmygodthat’sjustIdon’tevenknowwhat.

    Keep getting better, keep us informed!

  38. BC Woods

    I’ve been a reader and a fan of you personally for something like four years now but it seems the only time I ever get sent over to your blog is when you’re having a horrible run of unfortunate causal circumstances (science talk for Bad Luck). I wish you a speedy recovery good sir, and I think you owe it to yourself and the world to Lord this injury over anyone who ever complains about anything no matter how awkward the segue.

  39. dar

    – better late than never
    it would have taken a week or two to cure if ascorbic acid IV had been administered

    FDA IV C ban (Febuary 2011) Townsend Letter for Doctors …

  40. Sheila

    I’m wondering if you’ll be used to illustrate some wikipedia pages on the wound treatment.

  41. Sheila

    and you should totally get a metafilter account… but you should be too busy to read metafilter.

  42. keanani

    Wow, that’s awesome and scary at the same time. I have helped with open wound cleaning, packing, and vac-ing, as is shown in your photos, but this is really a lot worse than I have seen on someone I know of.

    Hoping for your speedy and good recovery. You, Caitlin and the kitties are destined for some kind of good and wonderful experiences after this…

  43. asc

    Hi dar.

    Your bullshit depends on a worldwide conspiracy to suppress your miracle cure. The reasons you can be ignored are several, but first among them is that doctors are people and many of them care about saving lives. Because of this, treatments which work will be used.

    Consider polio. It made huge amounts of money for the medical industry, but the vaccine wasn’t suppressed. Today polio has been eradicated in the first world… other than the victims of the antivax movement.

    Also, you might not be aware of this but there are actually places outside the jurisdiction of the FDA. Canada, for example.

    Now fuck off and die you horrible little troll.

  44. Ensley G

    You know, I’ve seen some pretty wild injuries in my day, but I have to say that it takes a hell of a lot of talent to wind up with that kind of nastiness outside of a war zone.

    Get better. Do the PT no matter what, and watch out for the cats. They’ve filed away the whole balloon thing for later… when you’re asleep.

  45. Chris Pepper

    Wow. That is disgusting but fascinating. I hope recovery is complete and minimally painful, as it’s clearly neither quick or painless.

    I feel like there should be a moral, so doctors everywhere could email this URL to patients with a comment like, “And if you don’t take your frobjobbers, you’ll just *wish* your leg would fall off! See what I mean?!?”

    Take care,

  46. ee

    Ouch ouch ouch! I hope you’re recovering quickly! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

    A few years ago I was in a car wreck and had some complications (compartment syndrome); 7 surgeries later I had giant hunks of flesh and muscle missing from my lower leg from a double fasciotomy and had to go through a very similar process. That stupid wound vac was one of the worst parts. Will you be getting a skin graft or anything like that?

    This will all be over very soon! Modern medicine is great. You’ll get better. Thank your doctor and your nurses for being totally awesome. If you have any questions about going through the recovery or anything at all feel free to shoot me an email.

    PS the fluid generally gets dumped into a medical waste bin and the PT isn’t awful. Relearning how to walk is really interesting. If you’re lucky you’ll get to skip the totally embarrassing “use a walker for forever” stage.

  47. Brycemeister

    This is why nurses rule-there’s this sweet, smiling, cute nerd woman, grinning away without a trace of disgust, while applying leeches or something (sorry, my new favourite show is ‘Horrible Histories, a british children’s show, and one of my favourite segments is starting to be ‘Horrible Historical Hospitals.’). Maybe if we pray to the Flying Pastafarian, or Ruth Norman’s Unarian city (lovely table of plastic Space Brother art made from tupperware, shiny plastic and hubcaps) while listening to Motorhead (or hey, just mumble something at Lemmy, that might do the trick) we can get this Murphy off your back.
    Shit, I thought I had a bad run, and I got nothing on that. I’d almost say maybe you pissed an invisible non-existant sky god, but that’s stupid. I don’t believe in sky gods. Maybe tree gods or something…I’m gonna expect to see religious blogs full of “See? That’s what you get for being an athiest-God eats you!) I’m saying that as a kind of mutant theist-a techthiest-there might, or might not be, a sort of self-organizing complexity that might, or might not be, seemingly intelligent. Or possibly just really complicated.
    Yeah, it does look like a salmon stuffed in spam, with some mustard sauce smeared on it. Please for to recovering, yes? Also, I appreciate your wit and humour in this. Cause that’s how we humans roll-we use humour in the tough spots. Rest up, read a good book, and, well, all that stuff.

  48. Brycemeister

    oh, and one other thing-I never realized how thick the whole skin is-holy shit, I thought it was like, almost paper thin!
    Hours? Jeehosephat, that’s one ornery mutant bug thing.

  49. et

    That is truly gruesome. I hope you recover soon and that your next year is much, much better than the past one.
    Three cheers for modern medicine! (unless thats what got these buggers in the first place).

    I’m surprised that non-sterile people are poking around so close to an open wound.

  50. Val

    This post was educational. Somehow that first pic (that and the suction were all I looked at; more afraid of the sympathy pain/nightmares than the grossout, as I’ve watched laprascopic gallbladder surgery on tv over lunch) . . . . indeed, wow, skin is thick!

    I wish you an excellent recovery, and much patience with the physio, which is hateful I am sure.
    Also a lack of boredom, so often being sick means being bored but not being capable of doing anything.

    I hope to goodness they’ve got you on some good pain meds.

    “burned it free”? They cauterized it? I admit I’ve followed a little over on FB, but I’m not always that good about it.

    Also, if anything ever taught me to be careful of MRSA, this did. Strange to say, your cautionary tale may save a number of lives, although hopefully it doesn’t have to.

    And I hope whatever twisted deity had its fingers on the knobs of causality to give you such a rollercoaster last two years gets smacked upside the head sometime soon and stops twanking them like a low frequency oscillator.

  51. Val (Yukon version)


    You have beat the super-bug and are healing gruesomely! Those pics are greeeaaat!

    In fact, you have won my 2010/2011 award for living human body trauma visual… beating out that Danish archaeologist who showed me his polar bear tooth scars…HANDS DOWN…

    Very impressive…and terrifying…

    Be well…stay well…please…

  52. Logically Enough

    My goodness, I see you’ve gotten yourself into another fine mess. Please endeavor to spend your time producing award-winning FICTION, not scary as hell FACTUAL accounts. Get well soon!

  53. erin

    My eyes haven’t bugged out like that since the Body Worlds exhibit came to town. Incidentally, I can think of no greater Peter Watts memento that a signed canister of leg fluid…

    I hope your admirable facination with the inside of your limb will help you through your recovery. I’d offer my deepest sympathies – I mean I DO – but this really couldn’t happen to a better writer. With street cred like that, you could inflict fibrodysplasia on little orphan Annie.

  54. Gui13

    La vache, putain de MERDE!
    Didn’t think it was that HUGE!
    Do you know if you’ll regrow the actual skin and flesh around it? Or you’ll end up with this hole in your leg for the rest of your life?

    Anyway, enjoy the painkillers while they last, you will probably end up with a period of drug addiction treatment at the end.
    And obviously, I hope you’ll recover well.

  55. mtm

    From a professional point of view, your leg doesn’t look too bad if that can be said when half the calf is missing… Do your exercises to keep things moving in your leg and I’m sure with your determination you will recover completely with great scars to show afterwards.

    I’m sorry you had to go through this and as so many have pointed out, it is unbeliavable that all this crap has come your way. Hopefully you’ll get a break after this.

    Speedy recovery and keep up the good spirit! And thanks for the photos, they were very illuminating…

  56. Heath

    Holy squid! That is pretty revolting!

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend.

  57. David S.

    Well now it’s official, I *never* want to see my calf muscle! Oh Jeebus, oh holy shite but that’s the most gruesome injury I hope I ever see. I can’t believe you can be sent home with a wound like that and be expected to live, let alone recover. I wish you the speediest and most thorough of recoveries, and may your future fortune be ever so much better than your recent trevails.

    BTW, are you absolutely sure your middle name isn’t Job?

  58. €ncle ca$h

    Showing your injuries is such Attentionwhorism…Squared.
    Keeeewl though >:P I want more pics like ASAP!

    Also you should get some petro$ from ppl that gave you those strep fuckers. They should be sooooo seeeewd.

  59. Roger A

    Wow! At a loss for words really. Morbid as I am I did find the pictures quite fascinating. So thanks for sharing this!
    But mainly so glad you seem to have made it through the most lethal part of that. Really hope you get a speedy and relatively painless recovery!

    And neither of the cats look exceedingly happy about the tracking…

  60. Michael Villekjaer

    Aargh…. Looks horrifying. But I guess some small part of you breathed a sigh of relief when you found out that you were in fact NOT a robot with a thin layer of human skin?

    Good luck with the recovery! Get well and grow flesh soon.

  61. Ben

    Oh no. Oh dear God no.


    Did you hear that … you came fourth in … a poll?


  62. Jayn Rand

    Well, first, Peter, I wish you a speedy recovery and am glad that medical services are doing their job (for free which is a little mercy that is not to be taken for granted where I live 😉 ).
    Second, looking at exposed muscles makes me hungry. Dunno why.

  63. Tim

    People are amazed you’ve kept your leg. I’m amazed you’ve kept your sense of humour. Anyone going through this kind of life-changing crysis, would typically be expected to feel anger, doubt, loss. Not you, though. Scientific detachment and jokes. So, my hat’s off to you, Peter. You are one tough hombre.
    P.S. I watched the movie 127 HRS the night before, so I was somewhat prepared for
    the pics. But, still, there were nervous giggles and outright screams.
    Keep on, keeping on.

  64. Ceallaigh

    My grandmother’s leg looked like this when she contracted a bacterial infection you can only contract in hospital intensive care units. She had recently undergone quadruple bypass surgery, and the incision in her leg – where they took out a vein to use in her heart – picked up the infection while she was convalescing and opened her up from thigh to ankle. She was a brave soul about it, too.

    So I know your leg will take a while to heal, but I’m glad you’re where your cats and your books are, and I wish you the fastest recovery your body can manage.

  65. Nestor

    Well, you’re definitely going to win most scar comparison contests once that gaping chasm fills up “Call that a scar? Check this baby out!”

  66. Dirk Flinthart

    Holy crap, Peter! I bumped into this entry purely at random – aggregated to a news site – and looked at it purely out of curiosity. I had to read it all the way through before I realised who was writing…

    …whoa, shit. You REALLY know how to have a good time, don’t you? That is one of the nastiest things I’ve ever seen happen to a leg, right there.

    The medical technology really is interesting, though, isn’t it? I particularly like the vampire dressing that sucks blood.

    Get better, man. Meanwhile, I gotta go back through a few posts and find out perzackly what kind of bug you tangled with — and how I can spend the rest of my life avoiding the shit out of it.

  67. LT-P

    Excellent !

    May the foam be with you 😉

  68. Lainey♥

    Greusome pictures or not, I still loved to read your writing. Please get well soon.

  69. Becky

    I just ate a box of duck chow mein while reading that at my desk. I am hard. But not as hard as you. Hope you mend well soon

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  71. Pageophile

    F**k’n hell man! I thought the BS you had to go through at the border would have meant clear sailing Karma-wise for at least the next couple of years.

    Thank you for sharing (well my stomach isn’t so thankful) and here’s wishing you a speedy and less painful recovery.

  72. Mike Cane

    Oh Christ, man. First the goons and now this. Chin up. I know it’s hard but the alternative is worse. You can get through this. You can. You damn well can and will.

  73. Jen

    I love those cat-tracking devices.
    By the way, my then-4 yo kid visited her gramps in the hospital after his surgery to fix a perforated ulcer, noticed the blood in the drain bag and thereafter called the hospital, “the catsup factory.” Ha.
    May you get to stay away from the catsup factory from here on out. Keep healing and feeling better!

  74. SJ Romm

    That was a very cool read!

    Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your recovery!

  75. Julio

    wow! there goes my dinner ! hope u get well soon ^^

  76. Matt

    Why do I have visions of you falling asleep, then waking to your cats eating the meat out of that hole?

  77. Steve Halter

    Well, that was amazing, terrifying and stomach churning. Hope the recovery continues fine. How long ~ until it is somewhat “closed” and the vacuuming stops.

  78. Chris J.

    Wow, I hope this all passes without any complications!

    I have to say, though, that this was a fascinating post! I am actually interested in hearing about what led up to this.

  79. Nurse Gregg

    Wound vacs are the best, you will be very happy with the results!!

  80. Ken Kennedy

    Holy crap. HOLY crap. I didn’t upchuck though, so that’s good.

    The fact that you’re kept your sense of humor through all this is COMPLETELY amazing, dude. I hope things continue to improve.

  81. Adam C

    Dammmmmmmn. I thought breaking my femur in two places and having both ends come through the tasty thigh meat was bad. It wasn’t shit compared to this.

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  83. Robbo

    Talk about open source. Heal fast, man.

  84. Anony Mouse

    After seeing all of this, I think that I will stop complaining about my enlarged prostate.

    Having had major back surgery and a collapsed lung, I can certainly sympathize. But my twisted mind just looked at the tubes, pumps and special beds that I was hooked up to and said, hey, that’s neat. Although, if you like pain, I strongly recommend the insertion of a chest tube without freezing.

    With regard to the cats, I guess the balloons as tracking devices is a little more humane that what you did to the harbour porpoises.

  85. Arjan

    Holy shit dude. You sound like a badass, I would probably cry like a little girl if this happened to me. Best of luck and I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  86. Liz D-M

    OMG. I hope you heal quickly and had no complications of any sort. Your cats are beautiful, too.

  87. jp

    Holy fucking shit, Peter. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  88. mordicai

    Holy crumbs. That is…some….serious stuff going on up there. I hope you feel better soon!

  89. Cordelia

    That’s unbelievably fascinating, although I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it.

    Thanks for posting and not dying of doom cooties. Maybe someday you can autograph my uvula.

  90. Oskar

    Wow, I guess that pretty much renders you immune to squick for life.

    It’s moments like this I thank Warren Ellis and his followers for desensitizing me over the years.

  91. Lori Wikdahl

    That is totally gross and absolutely fascinating at the same time. I’d have stayed in a coma (or asked to be placed in one) for the whole time if possible. Thank you for the insight into this disease and the way it is treated! I hope that I never experience it and hope you mend well!

  92. Hannu Blommila

    Holy fuck. Kinda reminds me of Joe Bob Briggs’ review of Evil Dead: “We’re talking Red Meat City!”

    I will never, ever complain of any kind of physical pain ever. Compared to the shit you’re going through, it would just be lame.

    Speedy recovery, my friend.

  93. The Doctor

    …holy shit.

    First, I’m glad you’re conscious enough to post. The _Blindsight_-infected down here in DC are worried about you.

    Second, while your leg looks like something out of a David Cronenberg movie that vacuum rig looks awesome. You’ve definitely got the whole “being rebuilt in a lab” thing going on.

    Third, in the event that you do not regain full use of your leg, a bunch of us down here could build you one bad-assed walking stick. It might even clear customs.

    Please get better.

  94. Thomas Hardman

    Yikes. That’s gruesome for sure.

    Praise goes to the medical folks who saved the leg, and kudos to Dr Watts for the tenacity to last through this, not to mention also for the clinical detachment to be able to snap photos for our edification.

    If his writing was occasionally a bit chilling in the detail before, I suspect that in the future he’ll be even less shy about writing serious gross-out descriptive passages. *shudder* I can’t wait. 😉

    Get well soon, and be sure to take advantage of any medication they’re handing out. Just don’t pass out while the cats are still in the room.

  95. Karen Bridson

    that is one of the coolest things i’ve ever seen/read. holy shit. it takes a lot to make me sick. been to many, many murder scenes. but that actually got to me. bluch.

  96. Merle

    Those were some of the most interesting pictures and explanation of what was going on ever, thank you for that, sorry you have had to suffer som but hopefully you are on the MEND.

  97. loosethoughts

    BoingBoing listed your site, so I decided to investigate. Wow brother, Toronto really did a number on you. I am never going to get a biopsy, ever. I used to walk into the hospital thinking nothing like this could happen, and cases involving flesh eating disease were limited to remote parts of the world.

    Hope you recover without any further issues. I’ve read something about Crysis 2 in your comments, so I assume you are a gamer. Game on buddy. Xbox, PS3, whatever. It will help keep your mind off things. If you want to game, add me (XBLA: SNAGZ420, PSN: loosethoughts)

    Animals are great too. Keep up the updates, as I will be checking in on your progress as much as I can.

  98. Hans Wegener

    This is certainly one of the most fascinating insights into medical practice since I watched a hand surgeon perform his duties on my damaged thumb ligaments … before he took out the drill and did something that smelled of burnt steak (I didn’t dare look). I have these pics at home from my knee surgery as well, and I couldn’t ever get rid of the primordial pull that they exert on my brain. Thanks so much for sharing this, and do get better soon! Oh, and by the way, the cats add sure add style to the whole shebang in their own very feline way.

  99. Joseph M Higgins

    Get well soon! Thanks for the detailed update. Will say a prayer for you…love the cat ballons!

  100. Duncan

    And I thought I had a bad year.
    Thanks for the wicked photos.

  101. Ben

    You want to get some maggots in that. They’ll clean it out.

  102. Lidija

    Woah! Yeah, my first thought was ‘aw man skin is so THICK!!!’ My second thought was how on earth can your calf skin be spread so far apart – or is a chunk of skin actually missing? It’s a bit hard to tell from the angles. Yeah, looking again I guess a swathe of it must be missing.

    Then I start pondering the cat issues and wonder a) how does one cat become the main cat? Was he the first, or is he somehow extra-cool? I have two cats and they are I guess of roughly equal status in the household. Then b) how does a man with half a calf attach balloons to cats? 🙂 Did they come to you or did you issue tracking balloon attachment instructions to minions? They do look awful cute with ’em, I must say.

    Finally, yeah nothing got cut off or hidden for me, the images loaded straight up. Hope that foam does its business and you’re up and about soon!!!

  103. David Ruddell

    So here I am laid up in bed with a dermatitis problem that stripped off the skin on my heel.

    I’ve read three books in three days, watched far too much Family Guy, and decide to hit Boing Boing.

    Man, do I feel like a lightweight! Your predicament puts mine in a full eclipse shadow.

    All the very best from a grey and cloudy London, and if it’s not considered too trite, get better soon.

    P.S Love the cat balloon positioning system.

  104. ScottC

    Elizabeth’s Bear appreciation piece of Blindsight, which she calls the “best hard science fiction novel of the decade”, is up on Tor:

  105. ScottC

    Elizabeth Bear’s appreciation piece of Blindsight, which she calls the “best hard science fiction novel of the decade”, is up on Tor:

  106. Johan Larson

    I can’t wait to read whatever fiction this experience will inspire.

  107. Alistair

    Hmm. No cables, no hydraulics? An advanced model. Can you put a door on it and turn it into a secret pocket?

  108. KatG

    I’m having flashbacks to that fetal pig I dissected in college. Good luck, feel better, and let us know if they attach you to any more interesting machines or household appliances. Just keep saying, “It’s all going into the next novel.”

  109. Gato

    BoingBoinged over here, and it was worth the price of admission. Read this after lunch and, no big “yuck” factor for me. Scientifically fascinating.

    Do people push anatomical charts out of their heads, or think that we’re made of robot parts? This is why we call it meatspace.

    Hurrah to modern medicine for keeping you alive. And hurrah to you, for keeping your sense of humor and for recuperating. Jeers to over-prescription (not some secret govt. lab) for making these micro-critters the dangerous beasties that they are. People–it’s what’s for dinner.

  110. jrronimo

    Christ man, I’m glad you’re lucid enough at times to still update us folk. I’m glad to see the leg still functioning, too… that’s gonna leave one wicked fucking scar. But luckily it sounds like it’s going to leave /only/ one wicked fucking scar.

    Heal quickly, man. Heal quickly.

  111. Chad

    Good on you to keep a sense of humor through all that! I would definitely do the same thing and demand all the pictures so I could post them. I would feel academically obligated to. Plus it would make me feel so badass. Hopefully that vacuum method has an impact and facilitates the healing process. If for some reason all of this turns out to be ineffective in closing the wound, I’ve heard good things about Hyperbaric chambers and open wounds. I think the physiology behind it is still unclear, but I’ve seen several cases of people with large open wounds like yours who spend a couple hours a week in a hyperbaric chamber and the results seem to be promising. I don’t know if this applies to you since there is a bacteria involved, but I just thought I’d post this to let you know. Goodluck!

  112. Jim

    I had to use one of those wound vacs for about 6 months. While i didn’t have NF (thank whatever deity that may/may not exist), I did have an undiagnosed fistula that kept an open wound about the size of a golf ball. I know how miserable that thing made me feel – the pain, the grossness and the inconvenience of being hooked up to the vaccuum like I had a permanent leg-less pet leashed to me.

    I can not begin to fathom the depth of your ordeal. All I can say is keep you eye on a future full of health and good times. That got me through it (along with a world-class surgeon who finally fixed the root of the problem) when I felt like I couldn’t stand it one more minute.

    If there are such things as “good vibes” know that legions of us are transmitting them your way.

  113. Elena

    I haven’t been following your story at all and came across this article via

    I don’t think that I could ever wish what you have gone through on anyone, and hope you have a speedy and full recovery. I’m glad that you’ve managed to keep yourself entertained throughout your time of restricted movement.

    That said; thank you so much for posting this, it was absolutely one of the most fascinating and interesting things I’ve read in a long time.

    Also, your cat-tracking system in genius.

  114. RJ

    The calf muscle I see in these shots looks whole, which is very promising. I’m sure the experience is grueling, but as long as the muscle tissue is intact, you’re doing fantastically well, as far as NF cases go. Good luck and I wish you a speedy (and relatively painless) recovery from here on out.

  115. Kimberly Van Munching

    Hoooly cow. I am sorry for what you’re going through and wish for your speedy recovery. I am also fascinated by your pictures and text. Thank you for sharing this – modern medicine continues to amaze me.

  116. Hank

    Thank your lucky stars you got that infection in your leg and not somewhere else.

  117. Sheila

    Since you are stuck in sick bed–want people to suggest song mixes?

    mechanical turk pandora-ly,
    yr fan

  118. nick pawson

    wow. i didn’t think i’d be able to endure this but it was actually pretty interesting and heart wrenching at the same time. shame you have to go through with this.

  119. AngusM

    Possibly the most distressing set of pictures I’ve seen since someone showed me a set of flashcards used for training nurses (“Prolapse? I got yer prolapse right here, buddy!”).

    I have the impression that we’re hearing more about necrotizing fasciitis these days: is that due to a higher rate of iatrogenic infection, increasing drug resistance, or just because people are surviving it, rather than simply shriveling up and dying? (“Yep, that’s a picture of your aunt Maud, who got the Black Rot when you were just three, so you never knew her. And that’s uncle Larry – the Rot got him too. And cousin Elmer, and the twins.”)

    Whatever, best wishes for a rapid and full recovery.

  120. Tom

    Hi Peter, The photos are awe inspiring in the full sense of the word. I am happy to hear that you are back home and doing so well. Best wishes for an uncomplicated and full recovery.

  121. Chin

    i hope that everything well with you and that you get better really soon, sorry that this happened to you! God Bless you!

  122. iPad research goes awry! - RcHeliaddict

    […] If you are squeamish or young I'd not look but it'd kind of interesting in a medical/ghoulish way Look Here __________________ Phil "Be who you are and say what you think… Because those that […]

  123. Jonathan

    The first-ever behind the cut post is definitely, definitely warranted.

  124. David Dyer-Bennet

    Thanks for posting the photos. Glad you seem likely to keep the leg! Hang in there with the physiotherapy, it’s important.

  125. Ian j.


    On topic… ouch!

  126. Renee

    I hope the hospital is paying for this and not sticking you with the bill. There’s no excuse for this being the result of a biopsy.

  127. This Is What A Leg Consumed By Flesh-Eating Bacteria Looks Like | Gizmodo Australia

    […] a skin biopsy at a hospital in Toronto. He’s documenting the ordeal over on his site – there you can see photos of his unobscured wound, with muscle and all exposed to the world (warning: they’re super gross) -but for our purposes, this shot of his plugged-up leg-canyon […]

  128. asc

    Angus: I would guess the increase in publicity is mostly because it’s a cool enough malady that it’s newsworthy as a public interest story, and that one can show pictures on the internet that wouldn’t be appropriate for traditional news sources. For example, this blog post has made the front page of several aggregation sites.

    It is true, though, that rates of NF have doubled over the last decade or so as a result of increasing IV drug use. Do yourself a favor and stay away from black tar heroin.

  129. scarfish

    My parents donated their bodies to a University’s Dept. of Anatomy to further medical research. You’ve made the donation while you’re still alive! I suspect your pictorial will inspire students to enter the medical field. It was very interesting, especially the part about the vacuum pump. Thanks, and good luck with your recovery.

  130. tonya

    WOW. fascinating. Another use for foam I didn’t know existed. Let’s see more progress pictures! Curious to see the look when it finally heals.

  131. Cara

    Thanks for the picks! The heck with those who can’t take it. Bless your heart! Said a prayer for you!

  132. Martin

    Is it me or does something about that location not look particularly sterile..?

  133. argentmoire

    its so red and yellow. was my first thought. the next was man! the skin layer of the human body is thicker then i thought!

  134. uplinktruck

    I really hope that heals up quick my friend. More cat pictures if I ever get home again.

  135. Chang of Space Command

    With all the love in my hart all I can say is FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKCK!!!!

    That’s horrific. Thank God you’re okay.

    And thank god you’re Canadian. I’d hate to think what that would cost you in American dollars.

    Get better soon. How lucky to get ballons from Richard K Morgan.

  136. Chris

    I had one of those vac pumps on my foot last year because of a nasty foot ulcer caused by diabetes. They work wonders!

    PS They throw the canister away once it’s full…at least here in the UK they do.

  137. brycemeister

    Between the border goons and this, it’s like you’re living in your own SF-though written by William Gibson and David Cronenberg. For what it’s worth-if they can’t save your leg-I’m hoping they can-obviously-there is a site that makes really really cool prosthetic limbs. Very cybery. Lot’s of aluminum, wood, plastics and streamlined design. But I’d rather not see you have to go through that.

  138. missinterpretUK

    The worst I had seen before your leg was an ulcer……..maybe I`m pleased for you that this flesh eating bacteria attacked your leg and not your……..face maybe.jeez……….tell you something ,it`s certainly shut up my whingeing for the day ! Love your puddytat,sure I would like you too if we ever met ! You have a resilience I admire!

  139. Nix

    Nestor: I can still beat him on the giant scar front. (Early thoracic surgery leaves *huge* scars.)

    However, I never had a killer wound like that. The Unskinned Man…

  140. Gurjot

    YEOWCH! that looks painfull. I’m an English medical student so ofcourse I found this more fascinating than gross but that does look like an interesting healing process. I hope the pain fades away and you keep on your brave face because I would be breaking down in there if I were you… On the upside the nurses should do a fine job of distracting you. Get better soon and maybe they’ll let you keep the stuff they plug out as ‘souvenirs’

    All the best


  141. Chang of Space Command

    Oh, and at least the nurse was cute!

  142. SJM

    Crivens that looks tough going,

    Hang in there and hope it all goes well. Thanks for sharing- most people hide away, your made of strong stuff!



  143. gary

    That’s so friggin’ nasty, I wouldn’t even wish it on my enemies…but then again…

  144. itoast

    Looks awsome, painfull, wierd, and horrafying D:! I hope it heals soon 😛 and tell them your not terminator XD

  145. babs

    From one home health nurse to a patient, looks good. I have specialized in wounds for 10 years, worked with 2 pts with narcotizing facetious. Just watch for good technique, frequent glove changes and hand sanitizing. Can’t be too careful.Best of luck. You look young, as opposed to home pts (80 plus) Eat a diet high in protien and you ll be home free, well sorta

  146. acuddlyheadcrab

    HEY! thats actually not that gross…. I dont mind gore that’s not… violent and human caused. I guess… : /

  147. Aperson

    Well…. I guess thats one way to loose a tattoo…

  148. proudinjun

    It’s like a bad car accident along the freeway… I want to look away, but I can’t. A morbid fascination keeps drawing my eyes back to it. Involuntarily, of course. Peter, hang in there, dude!!! We’re rooting for ya!

  149. dan


    You sir are a credit to us all!! get well soon, I will pray for you!


  150. mum

    my dad is going through that right now too. his is on his left inner thigh..they removed a ton of necrosed flesh as well..the wound is 12″ long, 4″ deep and 4″ wide. its been so awful. he was close to becoming sepsis..i hope you didnt have to go through that as well. my folks dont have any insurance so $30,000 not paid later…hes still alive 🙂
    i feel your pain and wish for the best. take in LOTS of protein…that will help you heal.xo
    are they saying you need to get skin grafts later?

  151. Lorrible

    Dude. DUDE. Seriously, I feel for you, a buddy of mine contracted the killer strep in high school, and it was not pretty. I think it was his left leg, and they caught it pretty fast.

    Also, I hate to say it, but I am TOTALLY FASCINATED by your oozing fleshwound and the awesome vacuum thing they use to help it heal. It must be from working in a hospital. I’ve seen ovaries the size bowling ball bags, piles of limbs in the “arm and leg” fridge, and various other gruesome things. This rates as pretty awesomely gruesome.

  152. Root Ginger

    This is crying out for video of the calf muscle working inside your leg. Stick it on YouTube and you’ll have a guaranteed hit.

  153. Scott Kennedy

    I can’t even really count how many times I said “Shit…noooo….Fuhhhhck” while reading your post. Thanks for turning the horror of recovering from nearly being eaten alive into a riveting and damn witty photo essay on anatomy and modern medical care. I hope the photos and the commentary keep coming as your healing continues. This would pretty much make the best coffee-table book ever. May you have as speedy a recovery as possible.

  154. Ellen Datlow

    Oh my. Heal quickly.

  155. karen wester newton

    This must be one of those time it pays to be a scientist. A someone who looks the other way she she gets a flu shot, all I can say it eeuuww! Oh, and yikes! It looks incredibly painful. I hope you get better really, really fast.

    And someone needs to speak to the Fates or the leprechauns or whoever is in charge, because you need some GOOD luck for a change.

    all the best, karen

  156. Grand Funk Pilates

    So what fills in real soon now, something that produces nitrous (like airway lining) made out of cultured skin and cagey IgE knockout shark skin cells? A hip flask with an iPad2 (intelligent cover et al) and a fashionable lace corset to hold the pellicle and magnet in place? (News affecting you via shinbone grief? There’s an app for that!)

    May your recovery never produce swelling excessive to the connective tissue compartments!

  157. Sarah B

    Saw your story posted on Boing Boing, and had to come look at the pics. I’m an RN who really enjoys doing wound care, for whatever odd reason. I’m also a big anatomy geek, so just wanted to thank you for posting the super cool pictures! Haven’t had to take care of a wound this big before, and it looks like quite the dressing they have to do…hope you continue to heal!

  158. Nesser

    Hamburger is exactly what you want to see! As an occupational therapist and wound nerd, yours looks darn good and healable. Keep up the exercises! I wish you a speedy recovery!

  159. Roger

    I applaud you for posting your pictures and telling your story. I’m sure that the shock value will attract some, but it is very interesting from an education standpoint. (Where else will you read about contemporary treatment for such conditions in first person detail?)

    I am very sorry that you were hit with this bit of misfortune and that you recover quickly. Hopefully, your story can raise awareness and help nip similar conditions in the bud.

    In closing, you sir, are one mutha-fuckin’ bad ass scientist, and are a credit to the profession.

  160. pityrules

    I learned more from your post than I have in a month of wound care training, (sadly)

    thank you for your inadvertent contribution to nursing knowledge

    heal well


    sorry Gurjot but I feel compelled to add sarcasm, so thanks for suggesting that all nurses do is distract the patient, you will fit well into your medical role I am sure

  162. Paul

    Gosh, Peter… how awful this must be for you. Thanks for sharing something so eye-opening and I hope you make a quick recovery and are feeling better soon.

  163. Andrew

    Speaking professionally it’s looking good. As good as hole in a leg can look at any rate… 😉

    Hope the healing continues apace.

  164. Winter67uk

    I’m just gonna lie here and do a few things:
    – thank the sky fairies you are still alive.
    – kick the sky fairies in the ass for letting this happen in the first place.
    – not eat meat for a while.
    – not wonder how you’re getting to the can.
    – not complain about anything for a while.
    – abandon plan to read the Rifter series on loan from library, and buy my own copies from my local bookshop instead.

    I wish you a speedy recovery, minimal cat fur in your gapeing wound, and more pretty nurses. Not that someone taking your dosages of pain meds is likely to notice much about the latter.

  165. Kamekos

    Hey, that´s a big cut!. And I was thinking my father got it bad getting Erysipelas.

  166. Necrotising Fasciitis « Alternate Routes

    […] You have been warned the pictures are disturbing. […]

  167. ryan thornton

    You’re an example for all of us Peter. I admire how you are taking this unfortunate incident head-on and driving ahead with a positive, healthy attitude. You’ve crossed the worst bit. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, I have full faith you’ll make a strong recovery.

    Best wishes,
    – Ryan

  168. NelC

    Dear god! That’s hideous. And I’ve only looked at the first picture.

  169. Mark C

    Oh by Jeeebus and all that is holy! Look at that cats EARS!

    Seriously though, get well soon.

  170. m!hai

    this really looks like you just got infected by RORSCHACH 😀 but hang on to Adequate Cat and its gonna be alright!
    wishing you all the best!

  171. Nathan

    I came across this article on a technology blog and I thought I should send you a link to another article which may be of use to you. There’s a lot of healing yet to do, but when the time comes you may want to look into this new method for skin regeneration that is achieving excellent results. Your case would probably make you a great candidate for it.!5749968/the-skin-gun-that-sprays-new-skin-on-burn-victims-is-real

    Hope you get better soon.

  172. Anonymous

    omg tc……….

  173. Robin E

    I’m relieved to see that, as bad as the wound is, the muscle underneat is intact and healthy, so you shouldn’t have trouble walking when this is all done. I wish you a speedy recovery and expect that all bad fortune has been purged from your life forever at this point!

    P.S. I’m sort of ashamed to admit it, but my first reaction to the photos was “cool! I can see inside someone’s leg!”

  174. The Carrot

    Those pictures were everything that I’d hoped to see; the standard run of the mill “not for the squeamish” bullshit in this day and age is really rather tame.

    Get better soon, Watts.

  175. Marek

    Hello Dr Watts,
    I hope you will recover soooon! Im physician and also reader of your SUPERB book Blindsight which was trully something GREAT, i am a fan of such type science fiction ( like books of Polish novelist Jacek Dukaj), but your was somthing that amazed me, and deeply moved.
    I wish you all the best, fast recovery and further tremendous work.
    Best greetings,

  176. Meatsticks

    Could all of this lower-limbed hell have been caused by your hogweed encounter a while back?

  177. pozycjonowanie opole

    That looks sooo…. Well.. I’m speachless..

    I hope you’ll get better fast.

  178. Trey

    Get well soon man.

  179. Dennis

    Hi Peter,

    Best wishes and hope you get better.

    You are lucky to be alive. I’m a head and neck surgeon and have performed this type of surgery before for necrotizing fasciitis.

    Many years ago when I was just an intern, I did it at the VA on a poor guy with an infection from a wood chip.

    Then over the years multiple times on the NECK of IV drug abusers.

    Imagine what is going on in your leg . . . and having that done on your face and neck. Yes, it is bad.

    Death comes from the bacteria accessing the bloodstream and then eventually leading to overwhelming multi-organ failure with the kidney shutting down first.

    Most of the victims of this disease are IV drug abusers for obvious reasons but once in awhile you get a really unlucky guy who got infected with the wrong set of bacteria under the wrong set of circumstances.

    It will take months for that to heal but the dressing changes and wound vac help out a lot.

    Take care and again best wishes for a speedy recovery. Nec fasc used to have a mortality rate of well over 75 to 80 percent about 10 years ago when I was in training so again you are lucky to be alive.


  180. Calvin

    I don’t wish to add to your discomfort, but have you considered the possibility your infection might not have been accidental?

  181. Bunny

    Dude. Uber geek cred for documenting the process, it looks amazing. It’s already been said, but the calf muscle looks whole and healthy so when it’s done being flayed you shouldn’t have too much trouble walking. It’s fascinating how much volume the skin and fascia make up, and I’m eagerly (wincing somewhat) awaiting the preoperative pics.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this but I’m thoroughly impressed you’re doing it with such good humour. And thanks for a great educational opportunity – Grey’s has got nothing on a live flayed man. 😀 Get well soon.

  182. John Dude

    Wow. I wish you all the best and a full and quick recovery!! That is terrible that this happened to you… but it is AWESOME that you’ve posted it here for those interested to see! To see the muscles in that way, just amazing. Can’t even describe it. SO COOL, and something I doubt I would have seen anything like if you hadn’t posted this!


  183. Artur
  184. cphi


  185. Captain Colon

    Awesome pics…having had to go through a fasciotomy myself I know exactly how it feels to have a shitload of gauze stuffed INSIDE your leg and then pulled back out a few hours later 😛

    I have left a link to the photos I took of mine while in the hospital if anyone’s interested in more gore, simply click on my name and be ready to lulz!

  186. Leona

    Bless yer little size eleventeen cotton sox.

    I looked, mainly because I was called a candy-ass. And I won’t have that said…

  187. Mike

    Are you on morphine when this happens?!

  188. Dennis

    Thanks for sharing! My wife was watching and she performed the most spectacular EEWWWWWs and OOOOOHHHs as I scrolled through the pics. If I ever get one of those WTF things on me, and yes, I saw what that started out as, I’ll be sending you my own pics in return.

    Loved the rifter trilogy, starting on blindsight soon. Thank care, and get well soon.


  189. random K

    Holy crap. Hope you get better soon. It’s a good thing you have a very graphic imagination so at least half of your mind will tell the other half it has no business being disgusted on the basis of sight alone.

    Pain, on the other hand, man, I hope they gave you the best meds there are for that. I can’t even imagine. I’ve had my leg (same leg) torn open & put back together again but it was just a high impact fracture. Not in the same category at all.

    Best of luck.

  190. mojo

    Holy fucking shit!!

    Hope you have a speedy and painless (as possible) recovery.

  191. Free PDF Books (Sci-Fi) - The Vette Barn Forum - A Community for Corvette Lovers

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  192. Noirling

    Upcoming book title: Black Foam.

  193. Terry

    Not being squeamish, I had no problem with the photos, (if you ever get the doc to relent and give you the surgery pics I’m up for them too) but your wit and sense of humor always makes me smile, inspite of all you are going through. Just get better. The world needs you… well at least your fans do

  194. Alyx Dellamonica

    What can I say but OMFG. I am so glad you survived it! I am so amazed you survived.

    I love you, Peter. Keep on surviving, please.

  195. Elle

    My Alyx sister sent me these photos. I have to say, they are awesome.
    Glad that your sense of humor allowed you to share them.
    hope you recover well

  196. Rebecca Stefoff

    As others have said, holy fucking shit!!! These pictures are fascinating. I was squicked out by knowing that the leg is attached to someone I admire, and by thinking of all the pain and uncertainty and general awfulness you’ve undergone and are undergoing, but other than that . . . fascinating. Thanks for sharing them, and best, best wishes for a smooth recovery and early verticality.

  197. Becky

    Stumbled onto your story from Facebook. I’m always interested in medical stuff and if you’re not a doc or nurse you just never get so see much. I’ve heard of the vac system, but never knew how it worked — so interesting! Thanks so much for sharing. I sincerely hope that you’re on the mend and doing even better — glad to hear you’re free of the hospital and able to at least sit at home and torture the kitties 😉

  198. James Devine

    Christ that is hardcore, picked up a link to your site through Neal Asher, hope you are doing better, I checked out your site and the books look right up my street, so I will make a little donation to your get well fund by buying the back catalogue you have listed, all the best and feel better pal.

  199. jzb

    what the hell did i select on my stumble interests that brought that image to my eyes. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  200. Carolyn vH

    Carolyn and Francois (from the AA Green Room) wish you the speediest of possible recoveries. You are definitely in our thoughts and prayers!! Take care of yourself!

  201. Barbara Hyde

    If you back up your treatment with GrapeFruit Seed Extract, deluited, your educated cells won’t be able to make any more of this come back. MRSA is something you can cure yourself without drugs. Yes, I am experienced. ~The very best for you~

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    […] a large bit of his leg missing, and was documenting his Goya-esque encounter with mortality in a series of photos that you may wish to view before lunch for more reasons than one–as one commenter notes, it does […]

  203. Flesh Eating Frenzy | Quivum

    […] link to the post is here Back to Top Tags: Cancel ReplyWrite a […]

  204. Brent

    I’m seriously in shock here! It’s been awhile since my last crawl through here, so I came to find out if Blindsight finally had a sequel…

    …and this is what I find?! Are you the luckiest or unluckiest person in the world?

    I wish you the best of luck. I personally think you’re one of the very best SF writers alive, so I selfishly want you to continue writing for years to come.