TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida fisherman contracted flesh-eating bacteria after he was pricked by a fish hook over Easter weekend while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ozona native Mike Walton nearly lost his arm to the dangerous bacterial infection, called necrotizing fasciitis.
Walton told WFTS-TV that he was about 20 miles offshore in Palm Harbor when the fish hook caused just a small nick on his finger, something that has happened to him hundreds of times.
By Sunday, though, the construction worker noticed black bubbles growing on his hand.
"I had like little blisters starting to form on my hand, and you could watch, like, sweat beads coming up on the side of the hand, and then they just turned black," Walton said.
He was rushed to Tampa General Hospital where doctors considered amputating his arm, WFTS reported.
"They sliced all the way down my arm to relieve the pressure, and then I got a skin graft going from my elbow to the palm of my hand," he said.
Doctors were able to save Walton’s hand and arm, but it was a close call.
"When you look down and you can see your own tendons, back of your hand and your bone going up your arm," Walton said, "that makes it real."
Walton was scheduled for release from the hospital Wednesday and will be on an antibiotics regimen for the next month.
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