An Australian woman and her sweetheart recently got married in the nude in front of 700 people after she woke from a 31-day coma and lost her wedding dress.
The Daily Mirror reported that doctors weren’t sure whether Monique Penberthy, 31, would survive after contracting the rare flesh-eating infection necrotizing fasciitis in November 2015, so her wedding day was called off and her dress was sold.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bacterial skin infection spreads quickly and kills the body’s tissue. Without prompt antibiotic treatment and surgery, necrotizing fasciitis can become deadly in a short amount of time.
When Penberthy came to in December 2015, she was still weak and learned that her mother, Donna, had called the big day off.
She was disappointed, as she and her fiancé, Rowan, had planned an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed party. Before getting sick, Penberthy, who weighs 364 pounds, had struggled to find a dress that fit her.
When Penberthy eventually regained her strength, the couple decided to reschedule the wedding— without going to the trouble of getting a new frock.
“I’d survived death so what did my weight matter?” Penberthy told the Daily Mirror. “I wasn’t embarrassed. I was more concerned about my hair looking okay, as it had fallen out in clumps since my coma, leaving me self-conscious.
“After, everyone hugged and congratulated us,” she added. “It was beautiful, a dream come true.”
Although various bacteria can cause the infection, the CDC monitors only some strains. Since 2010, about 700 to 1100 cases of necrotizing fasciitis caused by group A strep occur each year in the United States. Individuals with a strong immune system and good hygiene are extremely unlikely to contracting the infection, according to the CDC.