An Alabama man must have cut a six-centimeter piece of tissue from his thigh after contracting a carnivorous bacterial infection from the water where he was kayaking his children.
Ricky Rutherford, 41, fights for his life in the intensive care department of the North Alabama Medical Center.
Last Saturday, the Rutherford family, including their eight children, went kayaking with friends in a creek near their home in Waterloo.
By last Tuesday, the fever that Ricky had shown the previous day had still haunted him, and his legs crawled so badly that he could barely walk when he got home from his warehouse job.
Now his family is waiting on Ricky's side, hoping that the loving father will wake up and warn others not to risk the water if they are not sure if it is clean.
A carnivorous bacterial infection spread along Ricky Rutherford's thigh and caused terrifying blisters after the 41-year-old went kayaking in a Alabama river
& # 39; It has gone up and down, touch and go, & # 39; told Ricky & # 39; s wife, Cassey WAFF 48.
& # 39; On Saturday the doctors told me that on Saturday night they assumed that he would stay alive and that he was able to die.
& # 39; They told me to prepare for the worst. & # 39;
Ricky had been in good health, and capable or working his physically demanding job in a warehouse.
There was no reason to suspect that he would be sick.
& # 39; He never gets sick. He doesn't even have a doctor, & Cassey said.
In fact, carnivorous bacterial infections rarely affect people who have no immune compromise, are very young or old unless they come into contact with the unpleasant germs with an open wound or cut.
Cassey maintains that neither she nor her husband have noticed such injuries on him.
But it didn't matter.
& # 39; There was nothing. But the doctors told us it could be a microscopic hole that could penetrate and still spread, & said Cassey.
& # 39; It's hard to believe that there was a group of us and my husband, who is the healthiest immune system, has this.
& # 39; To know he got it when the rest of us didn't, it's crazy. & # 39;
Cassey describes the area where she, her husband and their eight children kayaked and swam last Saturday as & # 39; beautiful & # 39 ;, almost idyllic.
A nice warm creek tucked away like that is exactly the kind of carnivorous bacterium that would also like to be.
The aftermath was more of a nightmare.
His wife, Cassey, describes that the father of the eight has the strongest immune system of anyone she knows
Nothing could prevent a necrotizing bacterium from entering Ricky's bloodstream
A week ago, on Monday, Ricky & # 39; s fever hit 106, but he went to work.
When he came home early, feverish, painful, and convulsive, he blamed it for getting up all day.
The next day he returned to work, but he was in immense pain when he got home.
At home, Ricky & # 39; s kept getting bigger and becoming red. the fever was still there.
Cassey was worried that her husband might get a blood clot and insisted that they go to the hospital.
After a wrong diagnosis of cellulite and a stop at home with the wrong medication, Ricky still had a 105 degree fever and his wife drew a circle around the site of the infection to follow the spread.
As the area continued to grow at an alarming rate, the couple returned to the hospital.
This time, doctors didn't waste much time booking him for an operation on Friday.
A lump of Ricky & # 39; s inner leg of five by six centimeters had to be cut out to prevent the spread of the infection.
Doctors also took samples to the culture and soon confirmed that Ricky had necrotizing fasciitis or a & # 39; carnivorous infection & # 39; although the germ that caused it was not identified.
Redness and swelling of the infection quickly spread beyond the circle that Cassie drew to follow the spread of the infection
Despite expectations, he could no longer breathe alone, Ricky lingers
While she waits for her husband to wake up, Cassey is concerned about other families who also like to spend time at the creek.
Carnivorous bacteria are becoming more common because warmer temperatures offer them more hospitable waters to live in.
& # 39; I don't want anyone else going through this, & # 39; said Cassey.
On Saturday I had to think about burying the love of my life. Nobody should ever go through that.
& # 39; Don't get in that water! It is not safe. Don't put your family at risk for a day of fun. It's right here in our back yard. & # 39;
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