A Florida woman has warned people on Facebook about a carnivorous bacterium that her dad pulled during swimming – which took his life less than 48 hours later.
"Carnivorous bacteria sounds like an urban legend" Cheryl Bennett Wiygul, of Niceville, in a post Wednesday. "Let me assure you that it is not".
Wiygul's father, Dave Bennett, had visited from Memphis last week and was in Destin – a popular Mexican golf fleet – with her and her mother.
The Family had had a day of jet skiing and "throwing the ball around in the water" at Rocky Bayou – an inlet connecting to Choctawhatchee Bay – when Bennett became infected.
"We had a blast," recalls Wiygul, who describes the week led to it.
"We were out in the bay on the boat near Crab Island, went twice to the beach in Destin, splashed around Turkey Creek, swam in Boggy Bayou, in our pool and then on Friday we spent the day at Rocky Bayou," she said. "We left around 4:00 pm Dad stayed late on Friday and watched a movie. He was happy and talkative, seemed to feel good as he did all week."
On Saturday morning, Bennett woke up with "fever, chills and a little cramping ".
"My parents had planned to go back to Memphis in the morning and my mother wanted him to be close to his doctor to have him check out," said Wiygul, noting how her father "had cancer, so his immune system was compromised. "
" He had been sick before and they knew his story, "she added," so it seemed the best thing to do. "
The family had been aware of the latest problems with" naturally occurring bacteria "in the waters around Destin and had tried to come prepared.
"My parents came down to stay with me in Florida about a week after the post if a 1
Bennett had "beaten cancer for many years" and had "been in the water several times, so it did not seem like a risk" to swim, Wiygul said.
Less than forty eight hours after their trip to Rocky Bayou, her father was dead.
"This is so raw and personal to me that I do not want to post it, but if I can help a person, it is worth it" Wiygul said.
She told how doctors tried to do their best to save their dad, but finally there was nothing they could do.
"They came to the hospital in Memphis around 8 o'clock [Saturday]," said Wiygul and recalled how the medical staff "took him back immediately".
"When they helped him switch to his hospital rock, he saw this terrible swollen black spot on his back that wasn't there before. My mom sent me a picture of it and it felt like someone was punching me. asked if it was really black (because sometimes color is turned off in a photo) and she said it was black. I never saw a rock on my back and she didn't either. We really hadn't seen this place. "Tell them he was in the water in Florida and it was necrotizing fasciity. She told everyone who came in the room. A person told her that the medium had been undamaged. Others said it was staph. They would not biopsy it." They started him on IV antibiotics, the black spot had doubled in size, a new one appeared, his arms became more spotted at the moment and he had great pain, some of the nurses said they had never seen At 1 o'clock he became septic and they moved him to the ICU. He coded shortly and they got to take him back. My dad had many medical problems, but heart was not one of them. They had to intubate him. He coded again. They said his body was too damaged and his blood was too acidic to sustain life. He was away on Sunday afternoon. "Vibrio vulnificus ” width=”662″ height=”441″ data-srcset=”https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/bacteria-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=300 300w, https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/bacteria-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=640 640w, https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/bacteria-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=1280 1280w, https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/bacteria-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=662 662w, https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/bacteria-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=1324 1324w” data-sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 662px”/>
Lab results later confirmed that Bennett had contracted" Vibrio vulnificus, which manifests in necrotizing fasciitis (carnivorous bacteria) as leads to sepsis, "according to Wiygul.
" Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium transmitted by eating undercooked seafood or through an open wound, "she explained." There were no bacteria warnings on any beach or park we went to. They do after advice for high bacteria but there was none. "
Wiygul hopes that her father's death and other similar incidents will finally get officials to do something to warn people. A 77-year-old woman was infected last month and also died after swimming in the Florida water.
"I would never have taken my dad in the water if there was an advisory bacterium," said Wiygul, "but it would have been because I didn't want him to have a stomach virus not because I thought it would kill him. "
She added:" I knew you wouldn't swim with an open wound but I didn't realize he wouldn't be in the water with his immune system. I feel that I should have known and that is something I should live with for the rest of my life. If I had done more research I would have but I don't think the public realizes it either. I think if there was a simple sign of the risk of swimming with an open wound or an immune system, we would not let him in. "