STEVE LASKO/For the Chronicle
Alicia Adams watches as her husband Mike removes bandages from her leg, which was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria. She was recovering from the same infection in her stomach when it reoccurred late in June this year. “The bacteria is gone,” said Adams, who is in physical therapy to regain her strength and expects to be back to normal in a year. www.spiphotos.smugmug.com

On July 6, the day before her daughter’s 17th birthday, Alicia Adams said she was told by a pair of doctors she would die.

The infection in her right leg, which began months prior, had spread into her back, across her abdomen and into her left leg. Options were slim. It was only a matter of time until the flesh-eating bacteria would take her life.

“It was crushing,” her husband Mike Adams said. “The doctors said all they could do is make her comfortable.”