A Florida man has undergone three operations after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria, his family says.
David Ireland started having flu-like symptoms a week ago when doctors admitted him to an emergency room in Orlando, Florida, his brother Daniel Ireland said. Since then, doctors have had to remove more than 25% of the skin off his body, and his kidneys failed, the family said.
“He was in the ER and then all of a sudden they’ve got him in the operating room,” Daniel Ireland said of his brother.
The family is not sure how the 50-year-old contracted necrotizing fasciitis, Daniel Ireland, a Beaufort County, South Carolina sheriff’s deputy, said in an interview Monday. He said his brother swims in the pool at his condo in Orlando but does not go in lakes or the ocean.
Necrotizing fasciitis is an aggressive flesh-eating disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There are many infections that look similar to necrotizing fasciitis in the early stages, which can make diagnosis difficult,” according to the CDC.
“Since necrotizing fasciitis can spread so rapidly, patients often must get surgery done very quickly,” the CDC says.
Daniel Ireland said doctors were able to identify and start treating the infection quickly, and it had not yet reached David’s muscle tissue.
“It’s not a death sentence yet,” Daniel Ireland said.
David Ireland has been in what doctors called a “medically induced stupor,” according to his brother, and they have not been able to wake him up since Friday.
“David is still in a life threatening situation but there are some small victories every day. I miss my best friend very much and pray every day that God will spare his life and bring him back home to me and our children,” David’s wife Jody Ireland said on a GoFundMe fundraiser set up by Daniel to help his brother’s family. “My life isn’t the same without him so really praying for a miracle.”
The fundraiser, Daniel Ireland said, will help cover the family’s living and medical expenses. David and his wife have two daughters, 7 and 4, and both work at Universal Studios in Orlando.