A father who was fighting cancer died after contracting carnivorous bacteria in the Florida sea during the weekend of Fourth of July.
William David & # 39; Dave & # 39; Bennett, 66, and his wife Judy, traveled from their home in Memphis, Tennessee to Niceville, Florida last week to visit their daughter, Cheryl.
It was days after the national news of a 12-year-old girl from Indiana broke that necrotizing fasciitis – brutal, fast-moving carnivorous bacteria – had survived on a nearby beach in Destin, Florida.
Although he had no open wounds and repeatedly covered his sealed scars when he was in the water on Friday, July 5, the next day Bennett was hospitalized with fever, chills, unbearable pain in his legs and a large, sore spot on his back.
Doctors suspected a staph infection and prescribed antibiotics, but within a few hours he went septic, coded, and by the Sunday afternoon he had passed.
Posthumous testing revealed that he had contracted Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacterium that lives in seawater and undercooked crustaceans, and is fatal to about 33 percent of people who contract it.
Now Cheryl shares their story in precise detail as a warning to anyone on vacation in Florida, where dangerous bacteria are becoming more common.
William Dave Bennett (second left) with his wife Judy, daughter Cheryl and other family members on the beach in Florida, where he got Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that killed him
In a Facebook post this week, Cheryl (right) explained that the family was hyper-alert, especially with her father (left), who has been fighting cancer for years
The day after he had been in the water, Bennett woke up with chills. He and Judy flew directly to Memphis as planned and then went straight to his regular hospital, where doctors saw a growing, swollen black and red spot on his back (pictured)
CLIMATE CHANGE DRIVES AN INCREASE IN MEAT BACTERIA ON FISHING BEACHES IN THE UNITED STATES
by Natalie Rahhal, deputy US Health Editor
Carnivorous bacteria may soon come to a beach near you, because climate change feeds the spread of feared insects in once-safe oceans, a new study suggests.
Five people in Delaware and New Jersey have contracted carnivorous infections in the last two years from seafood or water from the Delaware Bay, which was too cold for the microorganisms.
But if the water temperature rises, beaches along the Northeast coast can become comfortable homes for the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus – and more dangerous for humans.
Researchers at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Cooper University Hospital warn that many beaches may soon be unsafe for people with weakened immune systems or open wounds.
A number of types of bacteria can be necrotizing or & # 39; carnivorous & # 39; to become.
The most common water based is Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria that lives in brackish (mixed fresh and salt) water and prefers a warm climate.
These bacteria usually need water to have a surface temperature above 13 C (55.4 F) to thrive, and infections are most common in the waters around states such as Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Florida.
In a Facebook post this week, she explained that the family was hyper-alert, especially with her father, who has been fighting cancer for years.
& # 39; When my parents came to town, I was fanatic about Neosporin and liquid bandaid & # 39 ;, said Cheryl. & # 39; My father had no open wounds. He had a few practical places that healed small scratches on his arms and legs, which I knew were super sealed. My mother has blocked him by the sun in a religious way. We took precautions and we were fine, so I thought. We had a great time. & # 39;
Bennett, she explained, loved the water. Being in the sun in Florida during the holiday weekend was a joy for him, and sometimes Cheryl felt like her precautions and worries seemed exaggerated.
However, on Saturday, July 6 – the day after splashing around some creeks, taking a boat, riding jet skis, and staying up late to chat and watch a movie – Bennett woke up at 4 am with fever, chills and unbearable pain in his legs.
They flew straight back to Memphis, as planned, and then went straight to his regular hospital, where doctors saw a growing, swollen black and red spot on his back.
Cheryl told the staff that she suspected necrotizing fasciitis after being in the water in Florida, but her worries were rejected and he was prescribed antibiotics.
Within a few hours, with more painful spots, Bennett became skeptical and his heart stopped twice.
He was dead by Sunday afternoon.
The family received the results from the laboratory on Wednesday and confirmed Vibrio vulnificus, which thrives in the Gulf of Mexico, and increasingly also in warm waters.
In her painful position, Cheryl says she is punctuated with regret and wishes for more warnings.
Bennett loved the water. Being in the sun in Florida during the holiday weekend was a pleasure for him, and sometimes Cheryl felt like her precautions and worries seemed exaggerated.
On Saturday, July 6, they spent the day splashing around creeks, taking a boat, riding jet skis and staying up late to chat and watch a movie
& # 39; I would never have taken my father into the water if there was bacteriological advice, but that would be because I didn't want him to get a stomach virus, not because I thought it would kill him, & # 39; Cheryl wrote. , adding: & # 39; (I realize that there can still be bacteria without advice – just because there was no high level). & # 39;
She continued: & # 39; I knew you shouldn't swim with an open wound, but I didn't know he couldn't sit in the water with his immune system. I feel like I should have known and that is something I will live with for the rest of my life.
& # 39; If I had done more research, I would have, but I don't think the general public will realize it. & # 39;
Cheryl said: I feel that I should have known and that is something I will live with for the rest of my life. If I had done more research, I would have done that, but I don't think the general public will realize it either. & # 39;
& # 39; There is information, but I didn't find it all until it was too late & # 39 ;, Cheryl said.
& # 39; I don't want this to happen to anyone else. I don't need anyone to tell me what we should or should not have done. We already know. It was too late for us. Just pass this on so that it can help someone else. & # 39;
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