HOUSTON – Doctors at a Houston hospital have been fighting to save the life of a Brenham man who has flesh-eating bacteria.
The man, who is in his mid-40s, began experiencing pain in his leg after a fishing trip to Port O’Connor, according to family and friends.
He was rushed to a Brenham hospital when the pain worsened, then to Bryan’s St. Joseph Hospital.
The man’s condition grew worse, so he was moved to the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Doctors amputated his leg up to the knee in an effort to stop the bacteria from spreading.
The man was moved out of the ICU Wednesday evening and was in stable condition.
Relatives said he was in good spirits, and sources said he appeared to be on the road to recovery.
A friend of the victim, who asked not to be identified, said the infection rapidly caused a lot of discomfort.
“He started complaining of severe pain and called his wife and they took him to the emergency room. And that’s where they found out what it was,” he said.
In 2004, another man contracted a flesh-eating bacteria while participating in a fishing tournament in Port O’Connor. The friend of the victim from Brenham said it could happen to anyone.
“He was just unlucky. It could have happened to anybody else. There was people in the water just like he was and it just got him,” he said.
Flesh-eating bacteria—also known as streptococcus pyogenes—can grow in stagnant water and usually enters the body through a minor cut or scrape.
The Brenham man was wearing brand-new hip-waders that aggravated a blister on his foot, and that appeared to be the point of infection.
The first sign of flesh-eating bacteria is often a small, red, painful lump or bump on the skin. The center may become black and the skin may open and ooze.
Symptoms include: feeling ill; fever; sweating; chills; nausea; dizziness; and weakness.
KBTX in Bryan contributed to this report.