Father may lose all four limbs after contracting flesh-eating ba - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Father may lose all four limbs after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in NJ

Angel Perez, 60, contracted the disease while crabbing in a New Jersey river, according to his daughter. (Source: Dilena Perez-Dilan/KYW/CNN) Angel Perez, 60, contracted the disease while crabbing in a New Jersey river, according to his daughter. (Source: Dilena Perez-Dilan/KYW/CNN)

CAMDEN, NJ (RNN) – A 60-year-old father is hospitalized in intensive care after his family says he contracted flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in a New Jersey river.

Doctors say Angel Perez, 60, developed necrotizing fasciitis, caused by a variety of Vibrio bacteria. The father is now in the ICU at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, according to NJ Advance Media.

Perez’s daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, says her father is an avid crabber. She says hours after he went crabbing near the Maurice River on July 2, his right leg began to swell then quickly got worse.

"It turned brown, blackish color. It was swelling, it was blistered," Perez-Dilan told WPVI.

According to Perez’s family, it only took a few hours for the infection to spread to all four of his limbs, turning his skin raw and red with blisters and scarring.

"He is in critical condition," Perez-Dilan told NJ Advance Media. "The infection has spread to his blood...his skin; you can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap. His forearms are black in color; they have blisters, cuts and sores."

Doctors are waiting to see if Perez responds to antibiotics, his daughter says. If he doesn’t, they may have to amputate at least three of his limbs.

"They are afraid if they don't treat it or amputate it, it's going to create more [infection]," Perez-Dilan told NJ Advance Media.

Nonetheless, the family says Perez is in good spirits.

"He's been praising God nonstop," Perez-Dilan said. "He's just happy to have a second chance."

The family is now warning others to be careful. Vibrio is fairly common in seawater, according to state health officials, especially during summer months.

"Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous. It can be dangerous and we don't know what we're getting into when we get in there. That's why they do use boots - people use boots and covers to protect themselves," Perez-Dilan told WPVI.

Contracting the disease is rare, and Perez has Parkinson’s disease, which puts him at a greater risk for problems.

But the New Jersey health department says if anyone has open cuts or scrapes, it’s best to stay out of brackish water, according to WPVI.

The bacteria can also be spread through eating raw shellfish.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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