A man in Houston thought he merely had a blister on his foot, but it escalated to an amputation after he turned out to have contracted flesh-eating bacteria.
Raul Reyes, 26, went into a clinic to seek treatment for his foot after an injury at work. The daycare teacher was instead diagnosed with the deadly bacteria, Fox News reports. Doctors had no choice but to operate and amputate Reyes’ foot, his wife Joseline said.
Joseline described, “The blister was covering his entire foot.” But while losing a foot was a terrible ordeal for her husband, Joseline said things could have been much worse, she told Fox 19.
I think about it every day – every day he’s been here [in the hospital]. I think about how I could have lost him.
Reyes’ doctors believe he contracted the infection through an open wound from his ingrown toenail, but are not certain where he could have gotten the infection in the first place.
Saltwater or brackish waters are the most common places for infection. In September last year, a first responder during Hurricane Harvey contracted a flesh-eating bacteria during rescue operations. The patient would have died if he had not sought treatment immediately.
In October, also last year, a woman in Texas died of the same flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters that she and companions had dug out while “crabbing” on the Louisiana coast. The woman consumed about two dozen raw oysters before falling ill.
Most flesh-eating bacteria infections happen from May to October, with common symptoms manifesting in diarrhea, fever, chills, nausea. More severe infections lead to death.
But Joseline said that she and her husband had not gone to the beach in a year. “He’s perfectly healthy. So, it’s just weird how all of this happened.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help Reyes in his recovery, which includes therapy for a prosthetic.