MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A man from Memphis died of a flesh-eating bacteria over the weekend after a recent trip to the beach.
The victim's family said she knew that some bacteria could be infected through open wounds and cuts, but she did not know that her compromised immune system could also put her at risk.
READ: The beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast are closed after the discovery of a poisonous bacteria in the water
"We would never have left my father in the water if we had known he should not have gone there, if it was so easy for him to catch something," said Cheryl Wiygul, the girl of the victim.
Wiygul told FOX13 that his parents were visiting Destin Beach, Florida last week.
Download the Memphis FOX13 app to receive last-minute alerts in your neighborhood.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
Less than 12 hours later, Wiygul said that his father had started to get sick. At first, she thought it was related to her treatment for cancer.
However, when he returned to Memphis, a great black wound was on his back. Then red bumps formed on his arms and legs.
"It was something we had never seen before, and only hours after arriving at the hospital, he had to be at the ICU. He became skeptical and had a cardiac arrest, "said Wiygul. "Within 48 hours of being in that water, he's gone."
According to Wiygul, his father died as a result of a bacterium that already exists naturally in the Gulf of Mexico, but the symptoms that feed on flesh are usually very rare.
However, Wiygul said that they did not know that his compromised immune system would put him at greater risk of infection with the bacteria.
She recounted what happened to her father on Facebook and now she wants more warnings about possible risks posted on signs when heading to beaches and national parks.
"I do not want to keep people off the beach. I love the beach, my father loved the beach. It was his favorite place, but it's not worth your life, "Wiygul said. "So, maybe you have to reprogram if you have a big break or just an operation, do not go to the beach.
"At least you can go next year, as now my father can not go next year."
An infectious disease specialist told FOX13 this week that these flesh-eating bacteria are very rare.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.