A New Jersey father is fighting for his life after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria infection while crabbing at Matt’s Landing in Maurice River. Angel Perez, 60, reportedly complained of swelling and growing pain in his right leg after coming home on July 2.
Just a few hours later, he began breaking out in blisters and his family noticed scarring all over his body. They noticed that all four limbs had begun to swell and change color.
“It turned brown, blackish in color,” Dilena Perez-Dilan, Perez’s daughter, told ABC 7. “It was swelling, it was blistered.”
Perez’ family took him to the Cooper University Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition as doctors now work to save his four limbs, Fox 29 reported.
Doctors believe that the Vibrio bacteria, which is often found in warmer waters where the river meets the sea, is behind his infection. The bacteria is more dangerous to those with compromised immune systems, like Perez, who has Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating raw seafood or exposing open wounds to brackish or salt water can increase a person’s risk of contracting the bacterial infection.
Perez-Dilan told NJ Advance Media that her father’s infection has spread to his blood and skin, and that his forearms have turned black. She said doctors are waiting to see if he responds to antibiotics before considering amputation.
“It’s summer. People want to swim and have fun, but just be very careful,” Perez-Dilan told Fox 29. “Don’t just jump in the water with wounds open. But, that’s what people do. We think water is safe. If you see something that’s out of the norm, go and get it checked.”