A Tennessee man died from a flesh-eating bacterium over the weekend after a trip to a popular beach.
The Memphis man’s family said they knew some bacteria can infect through open wounds and cuts, but they had no idea his compromised immune system may have put him at risk too.
Less than 12 hours after visiting Destin Beach in Florida, Cheryl Wiygul said her father started feeling ill. Once the family returned to Memphis, a large black sore developed on his back and red bumps showed up on his arms and legs.
“We never would have let my dad in the water if we would have known that he shouldn’t have been there if it was going to be that easy for him to catch something,” Wiygul said.
Wiygul’s father was on cancer treatment — so it turns out he was at a greater risk for the infection.
The family is now warning others with lowered immune systems from getting in the water.
“I don’t want to keep people from the beach. I love the beach, my dad loved the beach. That was his favorite place to go, but it’s not worth your life to go,” Wiygul said. “So, maybe you need to reschedule if you have a big cut or just had surgery, don’t go to the beach. “
Along with Florida, the Gulf has also seen recent dangers with flesh-eating bacteria. A fisherman said a scratch on his arm turned into surgery after doctors found bacteria after a trip to the beach.