Durango man recovering from flesh-eating bacteria
April 4, 2011
DURANGO, Colo. (AP) – A Durango man is recovering from a bout with necrotizing fasciitis (fash-ee-EYE’-tus), a rare flesh-eating bacteria that took over 75 percent of his right leg.
The Durango Herald reported Sunday that Joseph Williams underwent multiple skin grafts and was discharged March 22 from the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. Williams’ wife, Jennifer, says more surgery is possible, that he will need to report regularly to a burn clinic, and that he faces a full year of physical therapy.
The bacterial infection attacks the skin, fat and fascia (FASH-EE-uh), the membrane covering muscle. Microbes can enter the body through a cut, abrasion or bruise.
Joe Williams thought little of it when his right knee popped slightly when he stood up while helping a customer Feb. 22 at a Home Depot.
The next day, Williams called his wife at the Columbine Christian School preschool, where she is director.
“He had a fever and was shaking,” Jennifer Williams said. “He couldn’t put a full sentence together.”
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A surgeon at Mercy Regional Medical Center opened and cleaned Williams’ right knee, but a strep infection continued, Jennifer Williams said. An MRI scan later identified necrotizing fasciitis, Jennifer Williams said.
Doctors placed Williams in a medically induced coma and had him flown to the University of Colorado Hospital, where he remained in the coma until March 5 and subsequently underwent the skin graft procedures.