OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – A recovering addict in Wheeling shared the story of how she nearly died of a flesh eating bacteria.

It happened after a dose of meth contained something called zombie dope–or Xylazine.

Shannon Bridges was the speaker at West Virginia Northern Community College’s Lunch and Learn event Friday.

Her speech was accompanied with photos so graphic, they came with a warning. She told the audience she was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where she ended up having 12 surgeries to save her life.

“I had taken a shot of meth and thought that it had, it was OK, and it had the drug xylazine in it which is a animal tranquilizer and caused me to get necrotizing fasciitis, flesh eating bacteria that took 90 percent of my arm muscle and 90 percent of my breast muscle. I almost died.”

Shannon Bridges
Survived drug-borne flesh-eating bacteria

She said she wasn’t expected to live, and her family was making cremation arrangements.

After her speech Friday, she received a round of applause from the audience as she said she’s been in recovery for 5 months. She urged the audience never to give up on the addicts in their life. She said Wheeling has programs that help people achieve and maintain sobriety.

The event was presented by the college’s Student Recovery and Support Club.