A man has been left ‘fighting for his life’ after contracting a fresh-eating bacterial infection during a kayaking trip, according to his wife who has shared gruesome photos on social media.
Ricky Rutherford and his wife Cassey, from Alabama, were kayaking with some friends at Second Creek on July 6, WAFF 48 reports.
However, when Ricky returned to work following the trip, his temperature reached 103 degrees and he was suffering cramps in his legs, which he initially believed was just the result of working in a warehouse while the weather was hot.
But after returning to work the next day, he could barely walk by the time he got home, the publication reports.
Cassey explained in a Facebook post:
When he undressed he found his leg was red and swollen. We immediately went to the ER last night and they told us it was cellulitis possibly contracted from our kayaking trip Saturday and treated him with IV antibiotics and sent him home with two more. They told him if there was any change to come back.
Unfortunately, things continued to worsen for Ricky, who woke up the next day with a 105-degree fever, according to Cassey. After rushing straight to hospital, doctors decided to run tests for the flesh-eating bacteria.
On Friday, Ricky went into surgery, where doctors cleaned out a five-by-six-inch chunk of his leg, and by Monday it was confirmed the flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotising fasciitis, was to blame.
My husband is fighting for his life right now because of this horrible thing. What seemed like a normal fun activity that we enjoyed as a family has turned into a nightmare.
Symptoms of the infection range from a red and swollen area of skin that spreads quickly, to severe pain and a fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is reported to have between 700 and 1,200 confirmed cases in the US since 2010.
Cassey explained Ricky didn’t have any open cuts or scratches, but doctors told her that doesn’t matter.
She told WAFF:
There was nothing. But the doctors told us it could be a microscopic hole that it could come into and still spread like that. It’s hard to believe that there was a group of us and my husband, being the healthiest immune system there, got this.
He’s never sick. He doesn’t even have a doctor. To know that he got that when the rest of us didn’t is insane.
Now, Cassey is warning others to be aware of the dangers at the popular kayaking spot – she continued:
I don’t want anyone else to go through this. On Saturday, I was having to think about burying the love of my life. No one should ever have to go through that. Do not get in that water! It’s not safe. Don’t jeopardise your family for a day of fun. It’s right here in our backyard.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.