***WARNING: This video contains graphic images.***
PORT ARANSAS — A Texas man is fighting to keep his leg after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria infection after a trip to a Port Aransas beach.
Adrian Ruiz spent Saturday of Father’s Day weekend on the beach with his family. Within 24 hours, the 42-year-old was running a fever and had a red rash climbing up his leg.
“Once the doctor looked at his foot, he said ‘I think this is cellulitis, but I know you have been in the beach water. I’m not trying to alarm you or scare you but there has been flesh-eating bacteria reported that’s been reported in Galveston,” Ruiz’s wife Lashelle said.
At that time, no report of the bacteria — called vibrio — had been reported in Port Aransas. Doctors say vibrio is a very aggressive bacteria and Adrian’s condition got much worse over the next 24 hours.
“I’m fearful for him possibly losing his leg, I don’t want to think that that is going to happen and I have told him that we are going to be positive,” Lashelle said.
The flesh-eating bacteria is more common during summer months, because of heat. It’s transmitted through eating uncooked shellfish or while swimming in the ocean with an open cut or wound.
Doctors say they found no cuts on Adrian and his recovery is beginning to look positive.
“He is getting better, he was up and around the room today, he is in some discomfort, but swelling is going down. He is looking good,” Dr. Fausto Meza said.
Adrian’s family says that from now on, vacations mean only fresh water swimming.
Texas Health officials say so far, there have been 27 cases of flesh-eating bacteria in Texas this year — after 102 were reported in the state last year.