Last year we were amazed by the story of Aimee Copeland, the woman who was diagnosed with a horrible case of necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh eating bacteria. Copeland lost her left leg, right foot, both of her hands, but managed to survive a disease that claims more than 60 percent of its victims. Well it seems the flesh-eating bacteria has struck again, costing Las Vegas high school dean and father-of-two Eddie Garcia his hands and feet.
Garcia was infected with the illness back in January, causing his lungs and kidneys to fail and other organs to shut down. Today, Garcia is alive with an inspiring attitude and positive outlook on life. Telling a local news outlet that he's at the beginning of his journey, not the end, he's looking forward to his second chance with his family.
Heck, me -- I miss the early bus on my way to work and I'm in a bad mood. This man brushed death and he's so .. optimistic.
So what should you know about necrotizing fasciitis? Well let's take a look at some of the facts:
What causes it? Bacteria entering a wound, whether it be a cut, burn, or insect bite. Individuals can also be infected by coming into close contact with another person who has the bacteria.
What are the symptoms? Sudden fever, nausea, diarrhea, and skin that is warm, swollen, or red. Important to note: symptoms are rapid and start suddenly.
How is it treated: Often times a patient needs to get the tissue and fluids that are infected removed to stop the spread of infection, which means surgery is almost always needed. It's common to remove limbs and organs if it means saving a person's life. Antibiotics are given to kill bacteria.
Yeah ... this is no joke. Unfortunately there's nothing you can do to prevent the disease (which is slightly frightening) and no specific region where individuals are more prone to infection than others. I'm no doctor, but I know that I'll be making SURE to cover up my cuts and scrapes in the coming weeks and take inspiration from Eddie's positive attitude.
Have you ever known someone with necrotizing fasciitis? Do you find Eddie's story inspiring?
Image via KTNV