A 50-year-old grandmother has died just two months after contracting a deadly flesh eating bacteria while on vacation in Florida.
Carol Martin, of Indianapolis, Ind. was on vacation in Clearwater, Fla. in February of this year when she began experiencing pain from a sore on her buttocks.
Martin told her husband, Richard, and went to a local hospital on March 11 for treatment. After being prescribed antibiotics, the Martins returned to the hospital the following day, convinced that the medication was not working. Richard Martin told ABC6 reporters that doctors reassured the couple that the sore would heal, and sent them home.
Carol began having trouble sleeping, eating and getting out of bed. Things escalated when she was taken to hospital a third time for vomiting blood. Doctors performed a biopsy on the lesion and discovered she was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria.
Necrotizing fasciitis attacks the body’s soft-tissue, specifically connective tissue surrounding muscles, nerves, fat and blood vessels. Most people will experience flulike symptoms of fever, chills, fatigue and vomiting within a few hours of an injury. According to the Centre for Disease Control, many people believe they have a “pulled muscle” and may see their skin change colour (red or purple).
Although it can be easily treated by antibiotics and removing the infected area early on, once the bacteria spreads throughout the body, it causes tissue to die, and can turn fatal.
Richard Martin says his wife immediately taken for emergency surgery to remove half of her right buttock. During recovery, it was discovered that the infection had spread, and a second surgery was required to remove a portion of her left buttock.
After two weeks in hospital, Carol returned home where she died just days later, on May 4.
“She made me lunch, kissed her goodbye to go to work. I come home early in the morning and found her passed away,” Her husband Richard told reporters. “We should have answers and know why this went where it did.”
Carol leaves behind four children and seven grandchildren. A GoFundMe page was set up by her children to help assist their parents in medical expenses.
“My parents are the type of people who would help others before taking care of themselves. I want to give back to them, especially after everything they have done for me growing up,” reads a post from Carol’s son, Tyler. “If we could all come together and help them through this rough time, that would mean the world… especially since they don’t have health insurance and will have to pay everything out of pocket. My family deserves some good news. Anything at this point will help.”
Donations can be made to assist in Carol’s medical and funeral costs on the family’s GoFundMe page.