Bobby Vaughn, the third person reported in recent weeks to be battling a flesh-eating bacteria known as necrotizing fasciitis in Georgia, is facing his sixth surgery Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
"They have to rebuild my groin area,” Vaughn, 33, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "But I'm feeling much better now."
Vaughn is currently being treated at Doctors Hospital of Augusta. That’s the same hospital that is treating Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old woman who also contracted necrotizing fasciitis after falling from a homemade zip line and cutting her leg. At one point, the two patients were even next door to each other.
After five surgeries, Vaughn said that more than two pounds of tissue has been removed around his groin area to stay ahead of the disease. Now he needs skin grafts to repair the areas where tissue has been cut away.
A landscaper by trade, Vaughn said he became sick after receiving a small cut a few weeks ago on his leg near his groin while trimming some weeds. As the day progressed, he began to dry heave and vomit, and the following day, his cut had swelled.
That’s when Vaughn went to Cartersville Medical Center. Doctors gave him antibiotics and asked him to stay in the hospital for observation. Initially, Vaughn refused, but when he returned home, the injury continued to grow.
"It went from a peanut (size) to grapefruit (size) and larger," Vaughn told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
He returned to the hospital the next day, asking to be admitted. Doctors immediately rushed him into surgery.
As for Copeland, she remains in ‘critical’ condition after receiving multiple amputations last week. According to a Facebook post by Copeland’s father, her condition has been improving and she is now breathing on her own.
In a third case of necrotizing fasciitis, Lana Kuykendall contracted the bacteria after giving birth to twins in an Atlanta hospital. Kuykendall’s brother said Sunday that she is still in critical condition but is stabilized.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, doctors say that the cases are independent of one another and have no common cause or link.