Arizona woman battles rare fungal infection

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- A San Tan Valley woman is fighting for her life, after contracting a rare fungal infection. Doctors said 34-year-old Jessica Weldon wouldn't survive, but she's proving them wrong, and gaining strength day by day.

Weldon has been at the Mayo Clinic for weeks.

"Jess is the strongest person I know," said Weldon's husband, Chris. "I couldn't do it."

Chris has been by his wife's side, as she fights for her life. Jessica has undergone 11 surgeries.

About 12 weeks ago, Jessica thought she had a sinus infection, but it wasn't getting better. Jessica has Lupus, so doctors started running tests to make sure there were no other complications. That's when they made a startling discovery.

"They ended up doing a surgery and found out it's mucormycosis, and we're going to get you over to Mayo," Chris recounted.

Mucomycosis is a fungal infection. As Jessica has a compromised immune system because of her lupus, her body couldn't fight it off.

"The fungus gets into your blood vessels, and it basically will constrict them so that it dies off, so it's dead tissue," said Chris.

Doctors had to remove both of Jessica's eyes, the pallet of her mouth, her top teeth, and a small portion of her brain. Despite all odds, Jessica continues to amaze doctors.

"Doctors seven weeks ago said this has a 100 percent mortality rate, but we've been praying," said Chris. "We have so many people praying for us, praying for Jess, and she's hanging in there. She's a fighter."

The type of fungus that caused this is naturally found in soil. Meanwhile, Chris said doctor's are "cautiously optimistic" for her prognosis.

GoFundMe for Jessica Weldon