During all these years, dragging his ugly and infected leg, Christophe remembers a particular pain: "What was more difficult was that I did not have my destiny in hand." The "lame duck", as his colleagues baptized him maliciously at school, always lived "differently."
Since the 9-year-old boy was cut by a car in Ivory Coast, the adult had to continue walking with an open wound, losing his daily pus. To support the bandage ritual and its 49 operations up to 47 years. They will not have been enough to dislodge the pernicious staphylococcus aureus that has broken your femur, eroding your bones, your flesh and your life. "By force, the cocktail of antibiotics I received continually no longer worked; He slipped on me like water in a wave.
When, in 2013, an unarmed doctor drops the word "amputation," Christophe collapses. "I stepped in my wheelchair to the first empty room in the hospital and cried, I cried all the tears of my body. And then, I said no, it inevitably remains one last thing to try.
A kitten on social networks to go to Tbilisi
He decides for the first time to resume his destiny, he will not sacrifice his leg. It's when his sister-in-law tells him about a report he's seen on TV about phage therapy in Georgia: "Hey, it sounds like your story," she told him.
The computer scientist, who has never heard of him, immediately contacts an association. Cost of the trip: 8000 euros. If he does not have the resources, he is full of them. Christophe humorously launches his own telethon, "totof tuna," a kitten on social networks, makes the bottom of the drawer and, once the money accumulates, flies to Tbilissi in June.
Also read>Phage therapy, the new hope against resistance to antibiotics
Was he right? He wondered on the spot. For a fortnight, a taxi, transformed into an ambulance, picks him up every morning. With four other patients on board, toward a sort of clinic in the capital: a house with a rudimentary front that houses a mini-operating room in the basement.
The pain disappears after 15 days
It is swallowed with phials, is spread ointments, is infused with vitamins, is also discovered five multiresistant bacteria. Eight days later, the "desperate case" leaves its wheelchair, the pain disappears. After a fortnight, "you can fly back," the Georgian doctor tells him. "Has it spoiled everything?", Christophe anguish, "you do not understand, he continues, you are healed."
That word the Frenchman had never heard. Healed, really? He leaves with his suitcase and his doubts. Hearing this miracle, his GP looks at him with suspicion. Phage therapy, he does not know. But Christophe's blood test makes him raise an eyebrow. There is no more infection. Unbelievable. The large patient can finally be operated on the fractured leg.
"Phages must be developed at all costs"
"It took me a long time to land, to lean on it, to tell myself that I could go out with my dogs, see the birds singing." This is the end of a terrible forty-year interlude. It's not your fight. Christophe created an association * to help other patients go to treatment in Georgia. About twenty people are gone.
"Phages must be developed at all costs," he insists. I'm sorry, but today we're in the shit, the bacteria are getting stronger. "In their case, they will finally give in. And ever since, their left leg, which was said to be lost, always takes it further.
* Phages without borders. Another site exists: "Heal in Georgia".