Would you try it?
With a worsening ulcer and the threat of losing a foot, Pam Mitchell was willing to try something drastic; she had live maggots put in her wound.
"I didn't have a choice, I didn't have any options, I had to have [it] amputated," she told ABC News.
But she heard about maggot therapy from a friend who had seen it on The Learning Channel. While it took some convincing of her doctors, Mitchell said they agreed to try it before amputation.
Her dermatologist, she recalled, said, "Why not, let's try it." The doctors sent off to a lab in California to have specially bred maggots shipped in, although Mitchell believes they probably did it to show her it wouldn't work.
But in Mitchell's case, it did.
Consuming the dead tissue, the maggots, it seems, were able to help the wound heal and prevent the foot from being amputated. In the course of 10 treatments with maggots, the ulcer in her foot, which had become a gaping hole before therapy, began to get better. Mitchell also took antibiotics to help avoid further infection.
"Every time we used them, my foot filled in a little bit more, each time," said Mitchell, 56, of Akron, Ohio, who now speaks about the therapy as a representative of the BioTherapeutics, Education & Research Foundation in Irvine, Calif.
Would you try maggot therapy?