News, Culture & Society

Florida Man ‘lucky to be alive’ after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacterial disease in Mexico

Florida man who contracted a rare flesh-eating bacterial disease from a hook on a fishing trip that left him with purple and black blisters leaves hospital

  • Mike Walton is currently being treated at a hospital in Tampa Bay for the bacterial infection, necrotizing fasciitis – an extremely rare condition
  • The 51-year-old was trying to reel in a prize-winning catch off the Gulf of Mexico last weekend when his hand was cut by a hook
  • By Sunday, a series of purple and black blisters had starting forming over his extremely swollen hand – and doctors say he was hours away from losing his arm
  • The Ozona native was issued a skin graft from the top of his left hand, all the way down his arm to carve away infected areas of skin 
  • Now expected to be out of work for months, a GoFundMe page has been set up for Walton, who is the sole provider for his daughter, sister and elderly parents 

A man from Florida who was left fighting a life-threatening, flesh-eating bacterial disease after contracting it on a fishing trip in Mexico is making a recovery.

Mike Walton has now left hospital in Tampa Bay where he was being treated for necrotizing fasciitis, which is considered to be incredibly rare in the United States.

The 51-year-old was trying to reel in prize-winning catches off the Gulf of Mexico last weekend, along with the Ozana Fish Camp group, when his hand was nicked by a hook.

Thinking nothing more of the small scratch, Walton said he only started to become concerned several hours later when his hand started swelling up.

Mike Walton is seen above having left hospital in Tampa Bay where he was being treated for necrotizing fasciitis

The 51-year-old was trying to reel in prize-winning catches off the Gulf of Mexico last weekend, along with the Ozana Fish Camp group, when his hand was nicked by a hook

The 51-year-old was trying to reel in prize-winning catches off the Gulf of Mexico last weekend, along with the Ozana Fish Camp group, when his hand was nicked by a hook 

After accidentally cutting his hand with a fishing hook, within hours black blisters began appearing on his hand

After accidentally cutting his hand with a fishing hook, within hours black blisters began appearing on his hand

He later sought treatment from the hospital, where he was prescribed antibiotics. But by Sunday, a series of purple and black blisters had starting forming over his now extremely swollen hand.

‘I had like little blisters starting to form on my hand and you could watch like sweat beads coming up on side of the hand, and then they just turned black,’ Walton said to ABC Action News.

Rushing himself to Tampa General Hospital, it was there that doctors diagnosed him with necrotizing fasciitis, in which toxins released by the bacterial infection start to eat away at the surrounding tissue.

Other symptoms also overlap with the disease which can often cause misdiagnoses of flu or gastroenteritis.

Early side-effects can see an infected person hit with soaring temperatures, as well as severe pain not proximate to the scale of the original injury.

Doctors informed the fishing fanatic he was just hours away from losing his arm. Thankfully though, he avoided amputation

Doctors informed the fishing fanatic he was just hours away from losing his arm. Thankfully though, he avoided amputation

The 51-year-old was trying to reel in prize-winning catches off the Gulf of Mexico last weekend, when he contracted the infection

The 51-year-old was trying to reel in prize-winning catches off the Gulf of Mexico last weekend, when he contracted the infection

If untreated for several hours or days, the infection can go on to cause sepsis or organ failure. In some instances, infected tissue has to be cut away – which can lead to amputations.

‘When you look down and you can see your own tendons, the back of your hand and your bone going up your arm, that makes it real,’ he said.

Doctors informed the fishing fanatic he was just hours away from losing his arm.

Walton, however, thankfully managed to avoid amputation – though doctors say he’s lucky to be alive.

‘When you look down and you can see your own tendons, the back of your hand and your bone going up your arm, that makes it real,’ Walton said to ABC

‘When you look down and you can see your own tendons, the back of your hand and your bone going up your arm, that makes it real,’ Walton said to ABC

‘They sliced all the way down my arm, to relieve the pressure, and then I got a skin graft going from my elbow to the palm of my hand,’ he said.

The Ozona native was issued a skin graft from the top of his left hand, all the way down his arm to carve away infected and fast-deteriorating areas.

Now expected to be out of work for several months, a GoFundMe page has been set up for Walton, who is the sole provider for his daughter, sister and elderly parents. So far, the total has reached more than $19,000, as of Saturday afternoon.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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