A 26-Year-Old Lost His Foot After An Infection With Flesh-Eating Bacteria


Raul Reyes woke up with a swollen foot. Four days later, it was
amputated to save his life. Here’s what you need to know.
(Warning: this post contains graphic photos.)

Posted on March 07, 2018, 13:51 GMT

When Raul Reyes woke up with a swollen foot one day in
February, he and his wife, Joseline Reyes, weren’t that
concerned. “We thought it was weird, but I said I’d be fine and
went to work,” Reyes told BuzzFeed News.

Reyes continued to go to his job as a daycare teacher, although
his foot remained swollen and he developed a blister. It also
became increasingly painful to walk, to the point where he
started using crutches because he couldn’t put pressure on his
foot. Still, Reyes assumed it was a run-of-the-mill foot injury
that would heal on its own; he never guessed it could be
potentially life-threatening.

“We just treated it as a swollen foot and used remedies like
hot water soaks, Epsom salts, and apple cider vinegar,” Reyes

At the hospital, doctors
diagnosed Reyes with necrotizing fasciitis, or a flesh-eating
bacterial infection, a fast-spreading and dangerous

“The doctor took one look at my foot and and the note from the
clinic and he said I had to go to the operating room,” Reyes
said. In the OR, blood tests and x-rays revealed the infection
was caused by flesh-eating bacteria, and surgery was the only
option to remove the infection.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious, and potentially
life-threatening bacterial skin infection that destroys the
body’s soft tissues and can spread rapidly throughout the body,
according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“They thought it was just on the outside of my foot so they
told me they were going to try to save as much as they could,
but if it was deeper, they would have to amputate… I was just
shaking and crying in shock,” Reyes said.

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