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Woman Says Being 'Fat' Helped Her Beat Flesh-Eating Disease

An Australian woman who beat a rare flesh-eating disease says she survived the terrifying ordeal only because she was "fat."

Clair Robinson, 23, of Victoria, Australia, believes she is lucky to be alive after contracting the killer bacteria following surgery.

Robinson thought she had a simple fever and stomach ache until she was told it was flesh-eating bacteria eating through her stomach muscles and body tissue.

"Being big saved my life," she said. "If I had have been smaller it would have eaten my organs and my insides. My kidneys and liver would have been eaten if I hadn't have been big. Maybe fat people do have a good life after all."

Robinson contracted the condition, the clinical name for which is necrotising fasciitis after an operation to remove cysts from her ovaries. The bacteria is fatal in 50 percent of cases.

As her condition deteriorated, she was airlifted to an Australian hospital's intensive care unit in a bid to save her life. Surgeons operated every three days to remove infected skin and she received hyperbaric treatment.

She said her terrifying ordeal is now a blur.

"I could hear my [mother] talking to me, but I was too sick to even move or talk," she said. "I just had to lay there. Everyone said 'You almost died,' but I try not to think too much about that. I want to put it all in the past."

Her fiance Ashley Bacon proposed on a recent trip to Venice and they plan to marry on Valentine's Day.

Michael Leung, head of plastic surgery at The Alfred Hospital where Robinson was treated, said she was "very lucky."

"It is a scary condition because a person can go from very healthy to very sick or even die within 24 hours," he said.