I was hours from death as killer bacteria ate away at my face until BAKING SODA made me ‘rise like a cake’

A WOMAN who nearly died after bacteria ate away at her nose credits baking soda with saving her life.

Beatrice Johnson, 60, came close to death after falling ill with sickness and an upset stomach on December 20.

SWNSBeatrice Johnson almost died after developing a flesh-eating bug[/caption]

SWNSThe 16-year-old in hospital with sepsis after necrotising fasciitis[/caption]

Doctors at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Kent, diagnosed her with septic shock and advised her loved ones to say their goodbyes.

But during a final ditch attempt to keep her alive, she claims medics introduced sodium bicarbonate into her IV drip, as an alternative to dialysis.

The unusual treatment was a success and within days, Beatrice, a part-time secretary, was ”feeling miles better”.

After 36 days in hospital, she is now home and recovering well with her sister.

Beatrice, from Tunbridge Wells, said: “I never thought something so simple would save my life.

“I really thought I was going to die but the baking soda made me rise like a cake.

”I have no idea how I got sepsis, it could’ve been a torn ligament in my thumb.

“My family said their final goodbyes. No one thought I’d be here today but I’m thankful they never gave up on my life.”

Beatrice’s ordeal began on December 20, 2023, when she began to ”feel generally weak”.

Throughout the day, her condition deteriorated and she even struggled to walk up the stairs at home.

Realising something was wrong, she called 999 and within 10 minutes she was being rushed to hospital.

Beatrice, a mum-of-three, said: “As soon as I couldn’t walk up stairs, I knew something was wrong.

“I called 999 and when the paramedics came, they couldn’t find my blood pressure.

“They were surprised I was still conscious.”


At A&E, worried doctors ran tests and diagnosed her with sepsis – a life-threatening response to an infection.

She later went into septic shock – when blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level.

Scans revealed her kidneys had started to fail and that she would need to be put onto dialysis.

I hate that my children had to go through something so traumatic. I’m shocked that I’m still here

Beatrice Johnson

Beatrice said: “I lost consciousness at one point, had no idea what was happening.

”I was completely out of it.”

Beatrice was put on life support, and the doctors called her three children to say goodbye.

She continued to decline until medics suggested the use of sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, which can be an alternative to dialysis in serious cases.

Within a few days, Beatrice made a miraculous recovery and came out of the coma a week later.

She was taken off life support and ”quickly felt like a new woman”.

Beatrice said: “Within one day I was like another person.

”I remember looking around at lots of tubes coming out of my body.

“I could only communicate through blinking but I could feel I was on the mend.”


After coming round, doctors broke the news that her nose had been eroded by a flesh-eating bug called necrotising fasciitis.

It is a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly and can be deadly.

Doctors used antibiotics to stop the spread and although healing, her nose is still ”numb on the end”.

On February 2, 2024, Beatrice was discharged from the hospital – 43 days after being told she was going to die.

“I hate that my children had to go through something so traumatic,” she said. “I’m shocked that I’m still here.

”My nose is healing, but I’m slowly recovering.

“The recovery time was incredible and I have the doctors to thank for that.

“I never thought baking soda would save my life.”

A representative from Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital said: “Treatment with sodium bicarbonate is routinely used in our intensive care units.”

Beatrice thinks she may have developed sepsis from a torn ligament in her thumbSWNS

SWNSShe said: ‘I was completely out of it’[/caption]

SWNSBeatrice made a miraculous recovery after being given baking soda in hospital[/caption]

Although healing, her nose is still ‘numb on the end’SWNS

SWNSBeatrice was discharged from the hospital 43 days after being told she was going to die[/caption]

SWNS‘I never thought baking soda would save my life,’ she said[/caption]

What is necrotising fasciitis?

Necrotising fasciitis is a flesh-eating disease that happens if a wound gets infected.

It’s rare, and needs to be treated in hospital straight away.

The first signs of the illness are:

Intense pain or loss of feeling near to a cut or wound – the pain may seem much worse than you would usually expect from a cut or wound
Swelling of the skin around the affected area
Flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, headache and tiredness

Later symptoms may include:

Vomiting and diarrhoea
Black, purple or grey blotches and blisters on the skin (these may be less obvious on black or brown skin)

You should go to A&E or call 999 if you have a cut which is more painful than expected, you have a wound and symptoms like a temperature or headache, you suddenly feel confused, or you have black, purple or grey blotches near a cut or wound.

Necrotising fasciitis gets worse quickly and can be fatal.

Treatments usually include antibiotics and surgery to remove the infected area.

Source: NHS

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