Caterer overcomes rare disease that destroyed sense of smell - New York News

Caterer overcomes rare disease that destroyed sense of smell

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A valley chef overcame a rare flesh and bone eating virus that destroyed her smell and even her taste, for some time.

"I'm a caterer that can't smell and I have no palate," said Sue Carlisle, of Straight to Plate catering.

Seven years ago, caterer Sue Carlisle developed a serious infection in her cheek after having sinus surgery.

"It became this rare bone-eating, flesh-eating infection called mucormycosis," said Carlisle. "It was like something out of a science fiction movie."

Carlisle underwent 30 surgeries in 45 days.

"With mucormycosis , usually people die within the first 48 hours," said Carlisle. "Because it spreads so quickly, they literally cut off half your face."

She lost her upper gums, teeth and palate, along with her sense of smell and taste.

"I was very fortunate to have a wonderful team of doctors that created not only a prosthetic for me that's like a denture, but it's extra heavy because it has a palate attached to it, so they came up with the idea of attaching non-toxic, non-corrosive magnets," said Carlisle.

The Centers for Disease Control say this is a rare virus that affects about two in a million people, but many die from it.

"My doctors and my husband, friends and family, no one let me know how sick I was. It really wasn't until later on mucormycosis saw an article. They quoted my doctor and that it was .00082 percent per million that survive this," said Carlisle.

Carlisle had her last surgery three years ago.

She and her husband started a catering business in Mesa called Straight to the Plate.

They came up with their first recipes in 2008, using their friends as tasters.

The business is growing. Carlisle caters weddings, corporate events and has picked up numerous awards.

While her taste came back three years ago, she still can't smell, so they have safeguards in place.

"We always have someone in the kitchen when we use proteins, dairy, anything fresh because they may look great to me, they may pass the touch test, but I can't smell it. I always have someone in the kitchen to smell things," said Carlisle.

"I was very fortunate, lucky that I was able to survive," said Carlisle.

The flesh and bone eating infection is not contagious.

Carlisle says now that the infection is gone, there is no greater chance that it will come back.
Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:11:38 GMT
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:51:36 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • 3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:47:41 GMT
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices